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OPP launch Move Over law enforcement campaign for long weekend

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. Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press/File

Despite some rain in the forecast for the civic holiday weekend, it’s expected to be busy on the roads for residents and members of the OPP.

Police are increasing enforcement efforts after releasing some troubling statistics about the “Move Over” law.

READ MORE: West Region OPP boost efforts to target unsafe driving behaviours

The law requires drivers to slow down when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle from the same side of the road with its lights flashing and to move over a lane if it can be done safely.

The law was amended in 2015 to include tow trucks parked on the roadside with their amber lights flashing.

For the second consecutive year, the OPP is reporting one of the highest numbers of charges laid in recent history against drivers who failed to follow the law.

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According to police, charges laid related to the law have more than doubled in five years:

  • 2011: 1,181 charges were laid
  • 2012: 1,346 charges were laid
  • 2013: 1,404 charges were laid
  • 2014: 1,593 charges were laid
  • 2015: 2,050 charges were laid
  • 2016: 2,443 charges were laid

Aside from the physical danger drivers put themselves and others in by not following the law, OPP Const. Travis Parsons noted there can be other consequences.

“The violation of this particular offense, it carries a fine of $400 to $2,000 plus three demerit points upon conviction,” he said. “Subsequent offenses within five years carry a $1,000 to $4,000 fine, possible jail time of up to six months, and possible suspension of your driver’s licence for up to two years.”

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Driving conditions could be less than ideal at times this long weekend thanks to the showers and possible thunderstorms the London region is expecting Friday and holiday Monday, though the forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud for Saturday and Sunday.

READ MORE: Current traffic conditions