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  • Required to slow down when passing emergency vehicles

    Question for you all, both LEO and non-LEO. Where I live (Saskatchewan) we are required to slow down to 60 kph when passing emergency vehicles on the side of the road. As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong) there are only two provinces in Canada that require motorists to slow down to a specific speed while passing EV. I have no clue what the laws are in the US, however.

    I remember reading the paper one day and there was an editorial in my city's newspaper written by an irate Albertan who vowed to never return to Saskatchewan because she got a ticket for not slowing down to 60 kph while passing an EV and she thought this was ridiculous. I am aware that in Alberta it is suggested that you slow down, but not required and in Saskatchewan we have signs everywhere stating that you must slow down to 60.

    Not too long after a response to that editorial appeared in the paper an RCMP officer in Alberta was killed when his vehicle was hit by another vehicle while he was stopped on the side of the road. Also back in 1999 (I think. Somewhere around there) another RCMP officer stopped on the side on the side of a highway here in Saskatchewan was hit by a semi. (Someone told me that the semi driver spilled his pop and while reaching down to get it, accidently swerved in the way of the RCMP officer. Can anyone confirm?) There's a commercial too on TV based on this accident (it scares the crap out of me everytime. I always think it's a drunk driving commerical, so I'm always off guard) stating the slowing down law.

    How do you all feel about the lack of laws requiring motorist to slow down?

    I myself find it hard to believe that anyone would not want to slow down when passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, and I find it hard to believe that there's only two provinces in Canada that have a law for this. I personally feel that even 60 kph is too fast and find myself slowing down to 40 kph if it's at night because half the time it's too hard to see where the police officer is with all the lights flashing, and it being dark outside, etc.

  • #2
    Well, here in Cali they slow down to a near stop so they can see what happened tying up traffic for the rest of the afternoon. But I digress, it seems like a good idea but a better one is what several states do, TX comes to mind, where they req' you to move over one lane instead.
    "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

    For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

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    • #3
      TX comes to mind, where they req' you to move over one lane instead.
      The same goes for Mo. If I'm backing someone up and a passing car does not move over, that's almost a gauranteed ticket if I can get to them. Our law simply says to move over if it is possible, and slow to a "Safe" speed.
      "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

      -Lao Tzu

      "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

      -Reinhold Niebuhr

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pkagel
        Well, here in Cali they slow down to a near stop so they can see what happened tying up traffic for the rest of the afternoon. But I digress, it seems like a good idea but a better one is what several states do, TX comes to mind, where they req' you to move over one lane instead.

        Yeah, that's ideal and what people do here on divided highways; however the majority of our highways are undivided thus making it more dangerous to do so.

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        • #5
          In my state, there is no lack of law. Just a lack of officers willing to enforce it. The law is still relatively new, so not many officer, I think, know much about it and/or feel comfortable enough to enforce it.
          Originally posted by Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA): 40-6-16
          (a) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red, or blue lights shall approach the authorized emergency vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:
          (1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or
          (2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
          (b) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching a stationary towing or recovery vehicle or a stationary highway maintenance vehicle that is displaying flashing yellow, amber, or red lights shall approach the vehicle with due caution and shall, absent any other direction by a peace officer, proceed as follows:
          (1) Make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the towing, recovery, or highway maintenance vehicle if possible in the existing safety and traffic conditions; or
          (2) If a lane change under paragraph (1) of this subsection would be impossible, prohibited by law, or unsafe, reduce the speed of the motor vehicle to a reasonable and proper speed for the existing road and traffic conditions, which speed shall be less than the posted speed limit, and be prepared to stop.
          (c) Violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section shall be punished by a fine of $500.00.
          I love subsection (c). There is no leeway. If you're guilty, you gotta cough up $500. Period. If you're a peace officer in GA, enforce the hell out of this one. If I'm feeling particularly sporting, I'll pull up behind officers that are already on a traffic stop and just sit and wait.

          I've probably written a dozen citations on this offense, not one (knock on wood) so far has been contested. I've also used this countless times as PC for a stop.
          Last edited by Centurion44; 08-08-2005, 05:31 PM.
          You have no right to not be offended.-Neal Boortz

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Centurion44
            In my state, there is no lack of law. Just a lack of officers willing to enforce it. The law is still relatively new, so not many officer, I think, know much about it and/or feel comfortable enough to enforce it.


            I love subsection (c). There is no leeway. If you're guilty, you gotta cough up $500. Period. If you're a peace officer in GA, enforce the hell out of this one. If I'm feeling particularly sporting, I'll pull up behind officers that are already on a traffic stop and just sit and wait.

            I've probably written a dozen citations on this offense, not one (knock on wood) so far has been contested. I've also used this countless times as PC for a stop.
            The city police were out enforcing it on the freeway yesterday. Their method is park an empty police cruiser on the side of the road with the lights on and send a guy down the road with a radar gun and pull people over who don't slow down.

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            • #7
              Why should I slow down while passing a police vehicle?! http://media.ebaumsworld.com/index.php?e=copcrash.wmv That pretty much explains it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TFlanary
                Why should I slow down while passing a police vehicle?! http://media.ebaumsworld.com/index.php?e=copcrash.wmv That pretty much explains it.
                How could anyone put that on a humour site? What happened to the person in the car?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pkagel
                  Well, here in Cali they slow down to a near stop so they can see what happened tying up traffic for the rest of the afternoon. But I digress, it seems like a good idea but a better one is what several states do, TX comes to mind, where they req' you to move over one lane instead.


                  I am an officer in Texas, the law here is that you must slow 20 miles below the posted speed limmit, and if possible move to the opposite lane of traffic. I enforce this by shadowing a budy and setting up past him in when he makes a stop. You wouldn't belive how fast I lock people going past the traffic stop most times it is over the posted speed limmit .....double the the violations.....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Spee-Dee
                    How could anyone put that on a humour site? What happened to the person in the car?
                    If i remember correctly, the officer was okay, and the person in the car was okay with only minor injuries due to the PI.

                    The officer wasn't in the front car ahead, and he was okay.

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                    • #11
                      in florida you mjst move over AND slow to 20mph below the speed limit.I write those tickets all the time

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                      • #12
                        Slow Down, Move over 1 lane to left away from vehicle or face very stiff fine here.

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                        • #13
                          In the States you all seem to have laws for this sort of thing. I cannot understand why Canada only has two provinces with actually laws and not suggestions.

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                          • #14
                            Our law is only about two years old, maybe Canada will come around.
                            "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still"

                            -Lao Tzu

                            "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

                            -Reinhold Niebuhr

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by haus409
                              Our law is only about two years old, maybe Canada will come around.
                              I hope so. I don't like reading the paper in the morning and the first thing I read is "Semi-trailer slams into RCMP cruiser, killing Mountie" forgetting that I'm not reading the local section and my heart goes nuts because my CIL was working out on the highway that day so there's the possibility that it was his car. Maybe that's why I see this as a bigger issue than, say, that lady in Alberta who vows to never return to Saskatchewan. Quite frankly, I hope she doesn't if she's going to drive like that. How thoughtless of her.

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