Blue Line

OPP conducts ‘Move Over’ campaign

February 17, 2023  By Michael Bennett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Feb. 17, 2023, Ridgetown, Ont. – The Ontario Provincial Police conducted an enforcement campaign last week to remind drivers to ‘move over’ to keep first responders safe on roads and highways.

OPP West Region focused on drivers who did not slow down and move over for emergency vehicles parked on the side of a highway with their lights activated.

Ontario’s ‘Move Over’ law stipulates that if a driver is travelling along a roadway with two or more lanes, that driver must move over for the parked emergency vehicle if it is safe to do so. If the roadway only has one lane in each direction, the driver is required to slow down and proceed with caution as they pass the parked emergency vehicle.

Since 1989, five OPP officers have been killed in the line of duty on the roadside when they and/or their vehicles were hit by approaching vehicles.

Two of those fatal accidents occurred in Chatham-Kent, claiming the lives of two local OPP officers.

Sgt. Marg Eve was injured on June 7, 2000, when she and two other officers were struck by a transport truck while they were conducting a high-risk traffic stop in the eastbound lanes of the 401 near the Communication Road interchange. Sgt. Eve, who died two days after the accident, was the first female OPP officer killed in the line of duty.

Chatham-Kent OPP Senior Cst. Jim McFadden was fatally injured on Dec. 31 on the 401 near Merlin when he was struck during a traffic stop by an oncoming vehicle around 4:20 p.m. McFadden was pronounced dead on the scene.

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.

– The Ridgetown Independent News

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