RCMP OFFICERS here are reminding motorists to move over and stop when emergency service vehicles with lights on and sirens sounding are approaching from behind.
There’s been several cases recently when officers on their way to an urgent situation were held up because of traffic ahead of them.
“People really need to know this,” says Terrace RCMP Constable Angela Rabut.
“People haven’t been moving over and stopping and that’s a big concern.”
Rabut said the reminder applies to fire trucks and ambulances on their way to urgent calls.
At the same time, Rabut is also reminding drivers of a relatively new provincial motor vehicle regulation requiring drivers to slow down to 70 km/h and to move over when passing a stopped emergency vehicle.
That’s to better ensure the safety of police officers, emergency personnel or anyone else at the scene of an incident.
“We had an incident where the officer was nearly hit,” said Rabut of a recent occurrence.
Another RCMP officer, Constable Philip Crack, who is part of the area’s traffic services section, says failure to pull over or to slow down results in a $173 fine.
“There are signs outside of all the towns here, so motorists should be aware,” said Crack.
The local sign is situated on Hwy37 South just past the airport turnoff.
“It’s not that we’ve seen an increase, it’s just that we’ve not seen a reduction,” said Crack of drivers who don’t pull over and stop or who don’t slow down.
Most worrisome is that it seems drivers just aren’t paying attention to their surroundings, added Crack.
“Despite the lights, despite the sirens and when we’re outside, high visibility clothing, people don’t pay attention,” he said.
Crack and an auxiliary officer were injured late last year while sitting in a marked police car off the travel portion of the highway at Ferry Island.
A van clocked on radar as travelling more than 120 km/h smashed into the back of their vehicle.
Crack and the auxiliary constable, Shelley Ullery, were off work for a considerable period of time because of the injuries.
The driver of the van was charged with impaired driving and dangerous driving.