NEWS

OPP focus on 'move over' law this August long weekend

07/31/2015 08:05 EDT | Updated 07/31/2016 05:59 EDT
For the family of OPP Sgt. Margaret Eve, Ontario's "move over" law is more than just another traffic regulation.

In June of 2000, Sgt. Eve became the first female OPP officer to die in the line of duty when a tractor-trailer slammed into a group of three police cruisers during a traffic stop in southwest Ontario.

Eve was critically injured and died two days later in a London, Ont., hospital. Two other constables Pask and Skalo were seriously injured but survived.

Eve was a 14-year veteran of the force and left behind a husband and two children. Her death, and other similar officer deaths during roadside stops, led to Ontario's Move Over law in 2003. It requires drivers to slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle parked at the roadside with its lights activated. Drivers are also required to move over and leave an empty lane when a lane is available and the lane change can be done safely.

Failure to move over can lead to a fine of $400 to $2,000 and three demerit points.

The OPP is expected to lay about 1,500 charges under the Move Over law by year's end.

This August long weekend, a time when the OPP typically steps up enforcement and education about safe driving, the force is asking drivers to be aware of the move over rule.

"We just want everyone to be aware of this," said OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt. "A lot of people think they move over out of courtesy, but it's legislated and we need to keep our emergency workers safe when they're on the road."

Schmidt said there's legislation in the works that would make the law apply in situations where tow trucks are working at the roadside. 

The family of Sgt. Eve are set to speak at a 9 a.m. news conference. 

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