New law to protect emergency personnel, highway workers

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A new law under the province's Highway Traffic Act will come into effect Monday to protect emergency personnel and other highway workers.

It will require motorists to stop or slow to a reasonable speed and give a wide berth to those working by the side of the road.

Related story — Transportation and Works deputy talks road safety

In a news release this morning, Dan Crummell, minister of Service Newfoundland and Labrador, said motorists will now be required to “move over” when approaching stopped emergency, enforcement or other designated vehicles.

“We are pleased to see the ‘move over’ legislation come into effect for the safety of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. By slowing down and moving over we can ensure that workers can perform their duties more safely and reduce the risk of anyone getting injured or worse by a vehicle,” the minister said.

 This new law is in addition to the existing law that requires drivers to pull over to the side or otherwise yield the right of way when an emergency vehicle is approaching with lights and sirens activated. Motorists will now be expected to create a buffer lane by slowing down and putting as much distance as possible between their vehicles and a designated stopped vehicle.

 Designated vehicles which require a wide berth under the new laws must be operating flashing red, blue or amber lights or have other traffic warning signals. Designated vehicles can include:

·     Emergency and enforcement vehicles;

·     Tow trucks or other roadside assistance vehicles;

·     Search and rescue vehicles;

·     Public utility vehicles;

·     Municipal, provincial or federal enforcement or service vehicles.

Related story — Occupational safety case involving worker death back in court

More information on the new law can be found online at www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/moveoverlaw/

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Recent comments

  • saelcove
    March 08, 2014 - 10:53

    Will it depend on who you are

  • Joe
    March 07, 2014 - 14:45

    Is there a "Good PC" exemption in the legislation?

  • Sea NL
    March 07, 2014 - 14:42

    WOW ! It is 2014 People. We really do live in The Stone/Dark ages. Now I know why after living in Alberta for 27 years , why so many people make fun and laugh at me. I thought this was already a "LAW". and COMMON COURTESY". In Alberta it is. You also have to reduce your speed to 60 km. Eye Opener. NOW I understand now when home on Holidays why so many people give me the Finger/Honk Horn and cut in front of me and hit the brakes. What's the Rush.