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Nova Scotia's Move Over Law

Victor Lewin - Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In order to protect emergency responders, as well as the motorists that the responders are there to help, Nova Scotia instituted a move over law in 2010. Emergency responders now complain that many motorists in Nova Scotia simply ignore the law, failing to move over and reduce their speed when passing emergency responders at an accident scene. Sources indicate that a fire truck in Halifax was struck while responding to a motor vehicle accident, resulting in injuries to two fire personnel.

Since the law became effective in 2010, motorists have been required to move over a lane, if possible. Additionally, motorists are supposed to reduce their speed to 60 kilometres per hour or to the posted speed limit if the posted limit is less whenever they see emergency responders with another vehicle on the side of the road.

In 2014, law enforcement officers in Halifax issued nearly 400 tickets to drivers who failed to move over for emergency responders. Motorists who fail to move over and to reduce their speed run the risk of hitting both the responders as well as other vehicles that have already been involved in earlier accidents.

Speeding by accident scenes can endanger the lives of those working to help the injured. By moving over and reducing speed, motorists can help prevent potentially catastrophic accidents from occurring. Emergency responders who are injured by drivers who fail to adhere to the province's move over law may be able to hold the negligent motorist civilly liable for his or her actions. Through a personal injury lawsuit, those who are injured may be able to recover damages to compensate for their losses. A personal injury lawyer may be able to provide a fair evaluation and assessment of the facts of such a case.

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