According to Transports Québec officials, there are still many drivers who don’t know what to do when they see an emergency vehicle stopped on the road with lights flashing.
The Montreal police service website states that the law requires drivers to “carry out the move-over maneuver when an emergency vehicle, tow truck or a surveillance vehicle is stopped on the road, with its yellow arrow light signal flashing, or rotating or flashing lights on.”
That maneuver: slow down and change lanes if possible, and if you can’t change lanes get as close to the center line as possible.
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Transports Québec workers says though the law has been in effect since 2012 there’s still a problem.
“Every day it’s the same situation where motorists refuse to respect the law,” route surveillance worker Justine Robillard told Global News.
She and a colleague point out that it’s drivers of all sorts who sometimes forget to move over, laughing as a Société de transport de Montréal bus driver neglected to change lanes as he drove his bus past two Transports Québec trucks with flashing lights, then stopped at the de la Montagne exit off the ville-Marie expressway.
“They’re scared for their lives,” stressed Transports Québec spokesperson Louis-André Bertrand of the workers. “All they want to do is go home to their families at night and with people driving so close to them, they really need to be on their guard all the time.”
He pointed to April 2022 when a surveillance truck, with lights flashing, was struck by a vehicles because a driver didn’t move over.
Luckily, he noted, nobody was hurt.
Some think more enforcement could help drive the message home to drivers.
“[The law] is 10 years old, so it’s good to have a refresher, and the refresher is enforcement,” argued traffic consultant Rick Leckner.
“The law provides for penalties of $200 to $300 and four demerit points.”
Transports Québec personnel agree that’s a heavy price to pay, but an accident is much worse.
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