Steady increase in “Move Over” charges has OPP concerned

For the second consecutive year, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reporting one of the highest numbers of charges laid in recent history against drivers who failed to slow down and/or move over for emergency vehicles.

In 2016, the OPP laid 2,443 Move Over (and related) charges, surpassing 2015 which also saw a significant increase over previous years.

OPP says the number of charges has steadily increased since 2011.

“With the Move Over law now 15 years old, it has long shed its label as ‘Ontario’s little known law’, making driver ignorance a poor excuse for non-compliance.   In light of all efforts on the part of the OPP, our policing partners and the media to raise awareness about this law every year, it is unacceptable to see drivers mark the last two years with some of the worst compliance on record,” stated Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander of Traffic Safety and Operational Support.

With the OPP conducting its Move Over campaign over the Civic Day Long Weekend, drivers are being reminded that there are two equally important parts to this law:

  • HTA Section 159(2) requires drivers to slow down when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle from the same side of the road with its lights flashing.
  • On multi-lane highways, HTA 159(3) requires drivers to move over a lane, if it can be done safely.

Drivers are also being reminded that the law was amended in 2015 to include tow trucks parked on the roadside with their amber lights flashing.

Did you know?

Last year (2016), there were at least eleven incidents in which an OPP vehicle was stopped/parked on the roadside and was struck from behind while its emergency lights were activated.

This law carries a $400 to $2,000 fine, plus three demerit points upon conviction.

Subsequent offences (within 5 years) carry a $1,000 to $4,000 fine, possible jail time up to six months and possible suspension of your driver’s licence for up to two years.

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