Q&A - Slow Down, Move Over Education
I’m a professional driver on the Island,I have been driving since the mid 60s and have logged many accident free kms. My interest in writing is the “slow down, move over law." I have done it for decades. Not enough drivers seem to be aware of it.
The signs posted on the highways are difficult to read at 120kmh the most prominent portion of them is a red and blue light on top of a sedan.
Drivers I’ve seen almost always move to the next lane for police officers. Yesterday, on hi way 19, north of Qualicum Beach, there was a tow truck operator picking up a car on the shoulder. 8 drivers ahead of me maintained speed in the curb lane. I was the only one to move left.
A few weeks ago, I shredded a left side trailer tire on a tried trailer. I pulled to the shoulder and as I walked to inspect the damage 5 0r 6 vehicles went by at over 100kmh inches from me.
We need education of the public.
I have seen a tow truck operator on hwy 19 with a sandwich board with SLOW DOWN, MOVE OVER on it and it worked.
I would like to start a campaign where owners of commercial vehicles, tow companies, mechanical service vehicles, and tire service vehicles all have decals on the rear of trucks and trailers or sandwich boards to remind people of the law.
IT’S THE LIVES THAT MATTER HERE!
I need help in getting this started. can you suggest anyone to speak with?
Some I’ve thought of;
- BC Trucking Assn
Not sure who I would talk to though.
Slow Down, Move Over
As a professional driver for years, whenever I saw a situation on the shoulder that required extra attention I always slowed down, but I only ever moved over half a lane, straddling the center line and immediately putting my right signal back on. My thought process on this was that I didn't want speeders and tailgaters to try and pass me on the right potentially causing more danger to the stopped workers. My experience over the years is that, once the drivers behind you can see (the prize of open road) ahead of you they will go for it without regard for why you changed lanes, so I made sure not to show it to them. As for more lights and signs on vehicles, the winter I drove snow plow I was rear ended while stopped on the side of the road, and you all know how many flashing lights are on the back of a plow truck. Unfortunately society is becoming immune to warnings and safety.
Strategic thinking - and positioning.
It's always encouraging to hear of someone else who employs similar methods.
Even if it's just something like driving down Hwy 19 and there's a vehicle pulled over on the shoulder with people inside or outside but evident, I'll give them all the room I can, including lane splitting as you suggest.
Same with cyclists near the road edge, or pedestrians. The faster your own vehicle is travelling, comparatively, and the more of a visual block you're creating when in larger vehicles such as vans, buses, and trucks, the greater the potential for collision, even if it's the drivers behind you who are involved, because they didn't get an early enough chance to see the problem before coming upon it.
Even today, driving a bus full of seniors on an outing, I found myself straddling the centre line in reaction to a jogger on the right road edge (there was no shoulder to speak of) just so as to give him room and the cars behind me the chance to see him sooner. He noticed, and nodded his thanks.
It's all about space, and visibility, and time to react.
Returning to the same subject, here ...
A client asked me yesterday about the rules applying to the situation of a driver failing to comply with the 'Slow Down, Move Over' laws in BC, and their application to various lanes on a multi-lane section of the #1 Highway through Surrey/Coquitlam/Burnaby.
I found this excellent information on the RoadSafetyBC site, but when I went to the Motor Vehicle Act & Regs in order to determine what penalties would apply if the police pulled someone over for failing to comply with this, I got stuck a bit. I've tried to find the relevant area to research via MVA(R) Division 28 but I think I'm missing something, perhaps from MVA Section 151.
Is there a lawyer in the building, or maybe a traffic cop?
It's MVAR Division 47
Division 47 — Speed Limits and Traffic Rules if Official Vehicle Parked on a Highway
Who says there's never a cop around when you need one?
Thanks for that! I knew it was in those rules and regs somewhere.
So, how would this ticket be written exactly - what would be the citation/infringement applicable, and the consequent demerit points and fine to the driver who didn't give the Official Vehicle (and operator of the same) reasonable room on the highway to do their thing?
The ticketed amount of $173 and wording is found at the end of this list in the Violation Ticket Administration and Fines Regulation.
The 3 penalty points assessed on conviction are found in Division 28 MVAR.