Emergency first responders are first on-scene for the people you love. Careless driving puts their lives at risk. Here is what the Slow Down. Move Over legislation means and why it is critical for your driving behavior.
Help Emergency First Responders Stay Safe on the Job
We have all passed emergency crews on the side of the road. These may be firefighters, paramedics, police officers or tow truck operators trying to help someone in need. Emergency services are there to help no matter the weather, road conditions, day of the week or severity.
Unfortunately, first-responders are at a high risk of death from motorists who do not afford them the space, attention or respect that they deserve. This takes away mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters and neighbours from the people who love them. We count on them to help our loved ones – yet threaten their lives with careless driving behaviors.
What You Need to Know about Slow down. Move Over Legislation
In 2003, Ontario made it law that all motorists are required to slow down and move over whenever possible if emergency services such as fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) or police are on-scene with flashing lights activated. In 2015, tow trucks were added to the legislation. These essential service workers have the right to safe working conditions while they are helping someone in crisis.
What are the details that you need to know?
- Slow down: Slow down to less than the posted speed limit.
- Pass with caution: Proceed with caution.
- Move over: If the road has two or more lanes, you must move over and provide a lane of space between your vehicle and the emergency vehicle.
The Slow Down, Move Over legislation is in place to protect our first responders and the families that love them.
Failing to comply with this law could include:
- A minimum fine of $490 and three demerit points upon conviction.
- Penalties for any subsequent offence (within 5 years) may include $1,000 to $4,000 in fines, possible jail time up to 6 months and possible suspension of driver’s license up to 2 years.
Insurance Implications of the Slow Down. Move Over Legislation
Not only are you endangering lives, your insurance rates will be affected by a conviction.
A conviction stays on your record for 3 insurable years (this means 3 years of insurance) and will affect how your insurance company treats you as a risk profile. If this is your first conviction, you will likely lose your conviction-free discount (which can be up to 15% off!). If you have multiple convictions on your record within the 3 year span, you could be subject to a 20% surcharge on your policy, or your insurance company could choose to not offer a renewal on your insurance policy.
Respect the life and rights to safe working conditions for emergency first responders this spring. They work to protect the people that you love each and every day. The McConville Omni team has direct experience with the dangers encountered by emergency first responders. Some of our team shares their reflections on the emotional impact of the threats they encounter on the job each and every day.
This May 14th, we remind you to save a life, and respect the Slow Down. Move Over legislation.
My dad is a retired fire fighter. He shared a scary story with me about a close call. He was at a crash-site on the 401 and was suddenly called over by another fire fighter. Seconds later, a vehicle smashed into the guardrail where he was previously standing. The vehicle was speeding and had lost control. Thankfully, my dad had moved and was safe, but it was terrifying.
My brother is an active member and my Dad is a retired volunteer firefighter in our small town. I worry every time they are out on a call. Knowing that they may not come home to me in the same way as when they left, it is a terrible reality.
I am so thankful that my brother has never shared a story of a close call or a loss on his team with me. I worry about their safety so much.
Have questions about your vehicle insurance?
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