Local driver charged after failing to ‘move over’ on Highway 401

A 30-year-old Kingston driver has been charged under the “move over” law, after failing to change lanes on Highway 401 west of Greater Napanee when passing a stopped marked police vehicle.

According to a release from the Lennox and Addington County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the incident occurred shortly after 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, when OPP officers were conducting speed enforcement on the busy highway.

“The police were in a fully marked vehicle with their emergency lights activated and had a vehicle pulled over on the right shoulder of the Highway for speeding. During the traffic stop, a vehicle traveling by itself sped past in the lane next to the stopped police vehicle. The vehicle made no attempt to move over or slow down while the left lane was vacant,” the OPP stated.

Police said the vehicle was estimated to be travelling 130 km/hr when it passed the stopped police vehicle. The vehicle was stopped by the second police officer on the scene.

“When the vehicle was pulled over the driver did not realize that it was a law to move over into the open lane away from the emergency vehicle,” the OPP stated.

The male from Kingston was charged with the offence under the Highway Traffic Act, 159(3): Fail to move into another lane for an emergency vehicle or tow truck – if safe to do so $490, and three demerit points.

The following information was shared by the OPP:

Drivers know that it’s important to share the road with emergency vehicles, but did you know that it’s the law?

In Ontario, Section 159(2) and (3) of the Highway Traffic Act requires drivers to slow down and proceed with caution when passing an emergency vehicle parked on the side of a highway with its lights activated. If the highway has more than one lane, the law requires the driver to move over and leave one lane between their vehicle and the parked emergency vehicle if it can be done safely.

Failure to comply with Ontario’s ‘Move Over’ law carries a $490 to $2,000 fine plus three demerit points upon conviction.

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

The ‘Move Over’ law, which has been in place since 2003, protects the lives of police, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel and tow truck operators who are stopped at the roadside to carry out their work.

Lennox & Addington County OPP Provincial Constable Soule wants to remind everyone, ” As a driver, your actions can directly increase safety. Please be aware of emergency vehicles and remember the Move Over Law”.

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