Slow Down, Move Over, It’s the Law

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HEADINGLEY—Motorists in Manitoba will be reminded with a new set of highway signs they are required to ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ when passing roadside emergency scenes and police activity, Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler announced here today.

“We have heard from first responders, including the RCMP, rural ambulance and fire services, as well as the tow-truck industry and motor carrier enforcement officers, that motorists need to slow down and safely move over to give response crews a safe space to do their jobs, which are often life-saving jobs,” said Schuler.  “This is a matter of safety, common sense and courtesy, yet we hear of near misses and recklessness far too often.”   

These signs are regulated as traffic control devices and any traffic authority, such as a municipality, can install them on busy rural roads.  The signs will be used on major routes entering Manitoba and departing major centres and lesser routes to obtain reasonable coverage.

“Slow Down, Move Over laws have been in effect in Manitoba for eight years, yet our officers have encountered many close calls due to drivers not abiding by the law,” says Staff Sgt. Kyle McFadyen, Manitoba RCMP Traffic Services.  “Having more signage and messaging will ensure more people are aware of the law and its importance.  Ensuring everyone gets home safely is a top priority for the RCMP, but it has to be a shared responsibility with the public.”

The Highway Traffic Act requires drivers to slow down and move over when approaching emergency vehicles and government enforcement officers such as motor carrier enforcement and tow trucks when their lights are flashing.

Drivers must slow down to 40 km/h on roads where the speed limit is less than 80 km/h, and slow down to 60 km/h if the speed limit is 80 km/h or more.  On multi-lane highways, drivers must also move to the next lane if able to do so safely and pass only if it is safe.  The fine for failing to comply with any of the requirements is $298 and two demerits.

“Unfortunately we must constantly remind motorists that excessive speeds, failing to drive to weather conditions, distracted driving, and neglecting to slow down and move over can lead to penalties and the ultimate cost, injury and death,” said Schuler.  “Our government is committed to improving the safety of our provincial roads and highways.”