The B.C. government is making a Motor Vehicle Act regulation change to simplify the Slow Down Move Over rule, making it safer for roadside workers.
Currently, the Slow Down Move Over regulation requires drivers to reduce speed and, if on a multi-lane road, move over to another lane when passing stopped vehicles with a flashing light, which are considered “official vehicles”. These include: police, fire, ambulance, tow trucks, Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement vehicles, park rangers and conservation officers.
Stakeholders, including the BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, raised concerns that the current regulation does not protect all roadside workers. For example, maintenance workers are frequently required to stop on the side of the road for inspections or highway maintenance. These workers are subject to an equal or higher risk than many of the workers covered under the current regulations.
The new regulatory amendment will simplify the Slow Down Move Over requirement so that it includes all vehicles displaying a flashing red, blue or yellow light. This will make it easier for drivers to know the rules of the road, as they will no longer have to check to see if the flashing light is on an “official vehicle”.
The amendment will improve safety for all roadside workers, including highway maintenance workers, utility workers, land surveyors, animal control workers and garbage collectors, reducing the risk of them being struck by passing vehicles. The amendment will come into force on Jan. 1, 2015.
Drivers must slow their speed to 70km/h when in an 80km/h or over zone, and 40km/h when in an under 80km/h zone. If travelling on a multi-lane road, the driver must move into another lane to pass where safe to do so. Failing to adjust your speed appropriately or failing to move over can result in a $173 ticket and three penalty points.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone:
“We are committed to better protecting roadside workers. That’s why we are simplifying the current rule. It means that drivers will no longer have to figure out what flashing light to pay attention to - it will now be easy to know the rules of the road. Drivers will now be required to slow down and move over for all vehicles with a flashing light.”
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure