Once you see flashing lights in your rearview, slow down and move over.

That’s the message from the Comox Valley RCMP.

On Sept. 30th, its Municipal Traffic Unit stopped more than 40 vehicles to remind drivers that they’re required to slow down and move over for all vehicles that have flashing red, blue, or yellow lights.

“I have had far too many close calls on traffic stops where passing vehicles make no effort to slow down or move over so that I have space to do my job safely,” said Cst. Brad Landers, Comox Valley RCMP Municipal Traffic Unit.

“The law requiring motorists to slow down and move over has been in effect since June 2009; however, many of the drivers we stopped indicated they had no idea this law existed.”

In B.C., drivers are required to slow down and move over for all vehicles stopped alongside the road that have flashing red, blue or yellow lights.

This includes maintenance workers, utility workers, police, fire, ambulance, tow trucks, Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement personnel, land surveyors, animal control workers, garbage collectors and other roadside workers.

They also must slow their speed to:

  • 70km/hr when in an 80km/hr or over zone, and
  • 40km/hr when in an under 80km/hr zone

Drivers who don’t adjust their speed or fail to move over may receive a $173 traffic ticket that also carries 3 penalty points.

Cst. Monika Terragni says this is not about the amount of the fine or the penalty points: “This is about keeping people safe who are out there working on our roads and getting them home to their families at the end of the day.”

For more information on the legislation requiring motorists to slow down and move over, visit the ICBC website.