What is the “Move Over” Law?
The “Move Over” Law is designed to protect those who drive emergency and other designated vehicles.
It requires drivers to slow down and move over when approaching a designated vehicle that is stopped in a lane or on the edge/shoulder of a roadway. By slowing down and moving over, motorists will increase the safety of those workers as they perform their duties and reduce their risk of being hit by a vehicle.
As a rule, create a buffer lane by slowing down and putting as much distance as possible between you and the stopped vehicle. Specific scenarios are outlined below.
When does this law apply?
The “Move Over” law applies when a designated vehicle is stopped and operating its red, blue or amber lights or has other traffic warning signals displayed.
These designated vehicles include:
police; fire; ambulance; search and rescue; tow truck/roadside assistance; municipal, provincial or federal enforcement; public utility vehicles and/or service vehicles.
How to properly put the “Move Over” law into practice
The general rule is to create a buffer lane by slowing down and putting as much distance as possible between you and the stopped vehicle.
Vehicle on the shoulder in a double lane
Where there is another lane going in the same direction, and only if it is safe to do so, slow down and change lanes so that there is a full lane between you and the designated vehicle.
Vehicle on the shoulder in a single lane
If a lane change is not possible, remain in the lane you are travelling but put as much distance as possible between you and the designated vehicle.
Vehicle in a single lane
Slow down and change lanes, but only if it’s safe to do so. You must yield to on-coming traffic or traffic in the other lane. Otherwise, stop your vehicle and wait until you can safely proceed. You should only pass a designated vehicle if it is safe to do so.
Vehicle in a double lane
Change lanes if there is another lane for travelling in the same direction, or otherwise place as much distance as safely possible between your vehicle and the designated vehicle.
Fines and Penalties
The “Move Over” law received Royal Assent on December 10, 2013 in the House of Assembly and comes into effect three months after Royal Assent – March 10, 2014. Failure to slow down and move over can result in fines ranging from $300 to $900, and a penalty of four demerit points.
Pull Over Rules
The “Move Over” law is a new law and 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 (police, fire, ambulance) is approaching with their lights and sirens activated.
For further information on the legislation please visit http://www.assembly.nl.ca/business/bills/bill1306.htm
To view the Highway Traffic Act, please visit http://assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/h03.htm
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