Move-over law gets serious on Quebec roads

People who fail to slow down and move away from emergency vehicles that have their lights on will face harsher consequences under a new law taking effect Sunday.

Starting Sunday, drivers in Quebec will face stiffer penalties if they fail to respect the "move-over law," which forces people to slow down and move away from service vehicles that have their lights on.

This includes emergency vehicles, tow trucks attending to other cars and surveillance vehicles equipped with flashing yellow arrow signs.

CAA's Cedric Essiminy said a dozen law enforcement and emergency workers are injured in roadside incidents each year. He said sometimes, it's the emergency vehicles that distract drivers.

"You tend to look at it to see what's happening."

The rest of Canada has already implemented similar laws. In Quebec, the government followed suit after a police officer was hit and killed by a vehicle last December.

According to the Canadian Automobile Association's website, the Sûreté du Québec recorded about 214 accidents involving vehicles stopped on the road, four of which were fatal and 13 that led to injuries.

Provincial police spokesman Yves Bouchard said every law enforcement and emergency worker has had their own close call on a road.

Drivers who fail to abide by the law can face fines from $200 to $300 and receive a penalty of four demerit points.

The provincial government has also funded commercials and other advertisements to make drivers aware of the new rules of the road.