All drivers know what to do when they see flashing lights in the rear-view mirror, but it seems that many don’t know what to do when they see flashing lights ahead of them.
When a police car, fire truck, ambulance or tow truck is on the side of the road with lights flashing, drivers must slow down and move over if it is safe.
Police took to the streets of Langford, Saanich and North Saanich last week to do some education on that point — the kind of education that comes with a $173 ticket and three demerit points.
In two days, they handed out 260 tickets, 44 per cent of them to drivers who didn’t know about the law that was introduced in 2009.
Emergency workers take their lives in their hands when they step out of their vehicles onto shoulders that never seem wide enough when cars are whizzing by at 80 km/h or faster.
It’s common sense to slow down and give emergency workers a wide berth, and the law just puts that common sense into writing. It says that when an emergency vehicle is stopped with its lights flashing, drivers must slow to 70 km/h where the speed limit is 80 km/h or higher and to 40 km/h where the limit is under 80. If there is another lane going in the same direction, drivers have to move into that lane if they can do it safely.
Since 2001, more than 40 emergency workers have been injured or killed on B.C. roads as they tried to help other people.
Watch for those flashing lights, and keep our emergency workers safe.
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