12/04/2012 12:00 EST | Updated 02/03/2013 05:12 EST

Manitoba motorists will have to slow down while passing emergency vehicles

WINNIPEG - Manitoba motorists will soon have to slow down when passing emergency vehicles stopped on the highway.

The NDP is tabling legislation that would require motorists on most highways to slow down to 60 km/h when passing police cars, ambulances or other emergency vehicles stopped on or beside the road.

On smaller roadways, where speed limits are less than 79 kilometres an hour, drivers would have to slow down to 40 km/h.

Transportation Minister Steve Ashton says the new rules will be more clear than current ones, which state only that drivers should proceed with caution.

The proposed law, which could take effect by spring, will also give firefighters the authority to control traffic at accident scenes.