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OPP conducts campaign to get drivers to slow down, move over for emergency vehicles, tow trucks

According to the OPP, officers are concerned by the number of drivers who ignore Ontario's law that requires people to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles and tow trucks with their emergency lights activated. Don Mitchell / Global News Ontario

Ontario Provincial Police are conducting a campaign over the Civic Holiday long weekend to get drivers to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles and tow trucks.

According to the OPP, officers are concerned by the number of drivers who ignore Ontario’s law that requires people to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles and tow trucks with their emergency lights activated.

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Police say drivers who don’t move over put the lives of officers, emergency personnel and tow truck drivers at risk.

“There have been close to 700 incidents in the past five years in which an OPP vehicle was struck by another vehicle while parked or stopped on the roadside,” OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said in a statement. “When our officers and emergency partners are assisting people on the roadside, please slow down and move over if safe to do so.”

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Officers say they laid 1,891 charges last year against drivers who failed to slow down and move over, which marks one of the highest numbers of annual OPP charges for the offence since the law was enacted in 2003.

The OPP says it’s laid more than 9,000 charges against drivers who haven’t moved over for emergency vehicles or tow trucks in the last five years.

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“When you see an emergency vehicle or tow truck helping someone in distress, reduce your speed and move over,” Ontario’s Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a statement. “This simple action will help first responders do their job safely. Stay alert, avoid driving distractions and always take caution while on the road for everyone’s safety.”

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