Printer-friendly version   




For Immediate Release


June 1, 2009

Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services




VICTORIA – A new regulation takes effect today to enhance the safety of emergency workers by requiring drivers to slow down and move over when passing parked emergency vehicles that have their lights flashing. 


 The new Motor Vehicle Act regulation applies to drivers passing police, fire, ambulance and towing vehicles, as well as vehicles used by commercial vehicle safety and enforcement personnel, passenger transportation inspectors, conservation officers, park rangers, and special provincial constables employed in the Ministry of Forests and Range.

Drivers must now slow to 70 km/h on highways where the speed limit is 80 km/h or higher, and to 40 km/h where the limit is below 80 km/h, when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle that has lights flashing. If there is another lane going in the same direction, drivers must also move into that lane if it is safe to do so. 

The penalty for not slowing to the designated speed, not moving over, or both, is a fine and three penalty points on the driver’s licence. The fine, including a 15 per cent victim surcharge, is $148 if paid within 30 days or $173 thereafter. An existing penalty remains in place for failing to yield to a moving emergency vehicle.


Between 2001 and 2007, 21 emergency workers were injured or killed on B.C. roads – 12 of them at the roadside.


The new regulation is supported by organizations representing emergency workers including the Office of the Fire Commissioner and Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C., BC Ambulance Service, BC Association of Chiefs of Police, the British Columbia towing industry and the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA).







Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Labour and Citizens’ Services

250 387-3134


For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at