New Brunswick

Police nab 5 drivers in 45 minutes near Moncton for breaking move-over law

The RCMP are setting up check stops to deliver the message to drivers that moving over into the far lane to give emergency vehicles room is the law, failing to do so costs $292.50 and three demerit points.

Codiac RCMP set up check stops to remind drivers to give emergency vehicles a lane

Const. Pierre-Olivier Phaneuf pulls over a driver that did not move over during a Codiac RCMP check stop. The fine is $292.50 and three demerit points.

There were two things that sparked Const. Karine Themens-Roy to start a crack down on drivers who drive too close to emergency vehicles.

One was the Sept. 12 death of RCMP Const. Francis Deschenes, who died on duty on the side of Route 2 after being hit while helping two people change a tire.

Nova Scotia RCMP Const. Francis (Frank) Deschenes, 35, was killed by a passing motorist while changing a tire on Route 2. (RCMP)

The other was a close call in November.

"This vehicle just flew by me without moving over and that got me thinking about how real this is and how people aren't aware or don't move or whatever it is," Themens-Roy said.

"It was quite scary."

Between Nov. 4 and Nov. 27, Codiac RCMP conducted five check stop operations, ticketing 25 people and letting another nine off with warnings. Themens-Roy estimated 900 to 1,000 vehicles passed through the check stops.

"Keep in mind not all vehicles that didn't move over were intercepted because we don't have that many members to intercept all of them," she said.

Firsthand look

Codiac RCMP allowed CBC News to watch a check stop on Route 15 near the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport on Wednesday afternoon. An unmarked police van was pulled off to the side of the road with a cruiser, lights ablaze. Up ahead, two cruisers waited for violators to go speeding by without moving in to the left lane.

Const. Karine Themens-Roy spearheaded an increase in move-over check stops in light of a close call she had in November and the death of Const. Francis (Frank) Deschenes. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

It wasn't long before both police cars speed off to hand out tickets. The fine is $292.50 and the loss of three demerit points. It's an expensive lesson to learn for drivers, especially right before Christmas, but as Themens-Roy said, "it's a matter of safety.

"Some people still claim they don't know, but this law has been in effect since June 1, 2013, and I don't think ignorance is an excuse anymore."

In a 45-minute span, five vehicles were caught and given tickets, but many more got away with driving dangerously close to the cruiser and unmarked van.

Codiac RCMP set up check stops to remind drivers to give emergency vehicles a lane. 1:08

"There's 15 that went by that we couldn't pull over because our members were already attending other vehicles," she said.

One ticketed driver was asked to comment on this story but declined.

Themens-Roy said she hopes the crack down raises awareness about the law, but she added, "quite frankly it should be common sense."

Between Nov. 4 and Nov. 27, Codiac RCMP performed five move-over check stops. (Tori Weldon/CBC)

About the Author

Tori Weldon

Reporter

Tori Weldon is a reporter based in Moncton. She's been working for the CBC since 2008.