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Manitoba first responders ask motorists to slow down, move over

Click to play video: 'Moving Over for Emergency Vehicles' Moving Over for Emergency Vehicles
Global's Corey Callaghan looks at the important message first responders have when it comes to moving over and slowing down while crews work along busy highways – Mar 24, 2022

Emergency crews in Manitoba are asking people to slow down and move over while they attend calls along busy highways.

The Eriksdale Fire Department recently posted on social media about the number of people speeding by while firefighters attended crashes on Highway 6 during blizzard-like conditions.

Read more: Serious crash injuries double, on track for worst year yet, Manitoba Public Insurance says

“It still amazes me how many people do not slow down or stop when passing emergency vehicles,” the Facebook post wrote.

According to data from Manitoba Public Insurance, about 130 collisions involve emergency vehicles each year.

The RM of Tache Fire Department has also had to deal with numerous close calls over the past few years.

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“It’s very concerning. One does not realize how fast those vehicles are going,” fire Chief Allan Rau said.

He said most of their calls take place on the Trans-Canada Highway, also known as Highway 1, which sees a lot of heavy truck traffic.

“What they think is very minute in their speed, to us feels like they are rushing by and it’s very serious. Especially when roads are in poor condition,” Rau said.

Rau said safety measures have been added, including using fire trucks as a buffer well ahead of the actual scene to lessen the chance of someone coming into direct contact.

He does have a message for those who decide to speed past a scene.

“This is our safety. It’s very hazardous, we are getting equipment and moving equipment and helping people,” Rau said.

Read more: Deaths for drivers speeding in Ontario hit 10-year high

Under the Manitoba Highway Traffic Act, drivers are required to slow down to at least 60 km/h and move over when the speed limit on a road is 80 km/h or higher when police, fire, paramedics and tow trucks are responding to calls on roads.

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The required speed limit goes down to 40 km/h when the road has a normal limit of 80 km/h or less.

Rau said slowing down is a very easy thing to do to simply keep everyone safe.

“It will only inconvenience you for a few minutes. Then you can go about your day,” he said.

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