Local News

Why Are People Refusing To Pull Over For Emergency Vehicles?

PERTH COUNTY – Firefighters in Perth County were extremely disappointed to see several vehicles refusing to pull over for them this weekend. 
They had multiple incidents where drivers did not pull over to the side of the road, despite activated lights and sires. Fire Chief Bill Hunter says every second counts when they are responding to an emergency. 
“Imagine a loved one calls you asking for help, but you couldn’t help them because other people prevented you from getting there in time. that is how emergency responders feel when they are trying to get to a scene to help someone and drivers don’t move over. Precious time is wasted that could otherwise be spent saving lives.”
With a new video launched today, local first responders are sounding the alarm about how Ontario’s drivers are handling an encounter with an emergency vehicle, whether that vehicle is travelling to an incident or stopped at a scene.
OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique says this happens all too often. 
“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.  When our officers and emergency partners are assisting people on the roadside, please slow down and move over if safe to do so, and help them get home safely to their families.”
The law requires drivers to slow down and move over if safe to do so for all tow trucks, police, ambulance and fire emergency vehicles with their emergency lights activated. Failure to move over for parked or approaching emergency vehicles could be costly. Constable Barry Cookson says moving over for an emergency vehicle doesn’t cost you anything. 
“But when you encounter those vehicles and don’t move over, it could cost you a $490 ticket, 3 demerit points or more importantly, it could cost someone their life.”
Both the fire department and police ask the public to be fully aware when driving. Drivers should be aware of not only the vehicles travelling in front of them, but also vehicles approaching from behind and those parked on the roadside. As a driver, if you see an emergency vehicle with its lights/siren on, slow down and move over.