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More drivers being charged for not moving over for emergency vehicles: OPP

File photo of an ambulance. CITYNEWS

Ontario provincial police are reminding drivers to move over and give space to emergency vehicles with their lights flashing, this long weekend and always.

Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told 680NEWS on Friday that it’s not just a courtesy, it’s the law.

“Whether or not that’s a fire truck, police car, ambulance with their red lights or the red and blue lights flashing, or a tow truck with their amber lights flashing, please, slow down, move over, give them space. Let’s make sure everyone gets to go home at the end of their shift,” he said.

If there is a stopped emergency vehicle, with its lights flashing, on the same side of the road, drivers need to slow down.

If an emergency vehicle, with its lights flashing, is coming up behind, drivers need to pull over.

OPP said that the number of drivers charged for failing to give emergency vehicles space has been on the rise every year since 2011.

Here are the numbers, according to the OPP:

  • 2011 – 1,181
  • 2012 – 1,346
  • 2013 – 1,404
  • 2014 – 1,593
  • 2015 – 2,050
  • 2016 – 2,443

Breaking this law carries a $400 to $2,000 fine, plus three demerit points upon conviction.

Subsequent offences (within 5 years) carry a $1,000 to $4,000 fine, possible jail time up to six months and possible suspension of your driver’s licence for up to two years.