Help keep first responders safe - slow down
Summerside Police know what they want for Christmas.
It’s for drivers to slow down and pay attention when police are working on the side of the road.
“We’re pretty vulnerable when we leave our vehicles,” Sergeant Jason Blacquiere said. “Drivers get curious to see what is going on at a road stop and often lose sight of what they’re supposed to be doing: paying attention to their driving.”
Officers say sometimes the windows in their cruisers rattle as cars and trucks blow by them on the highway which makes them feel unsafe to step out.
We all know to let emergency vehicles pass when they have their lights flashing. But parked vehicles – fire, paramedics and police - with lights flashing need the same attention.
If you see first responders with their lights activated on the side of the road, slow down to half the speed limit, pay attention, move to the next lane if it’s safe to do so and give them a wide berth.
Tow trucks and recovery vehicles have also recently been included as vehicles that require the same ‘slow down, move over’ rules.
Blacquiere also urges motorists to look for officers who may be directing traffic at an accident scene. The fine for not slowing down for parked emergency vehicles is up to $1,000 and three demerit points.
“It is our collective responsibility to protect the lives of emergency responders and recovery workers who are helping our neighbours as they deal with emergency situations,” said Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar. “Our Highway Traffic Act has strong rules designed to keep our roads safe, our law enforcement works diligently to enforce these rules, and Islanders need to do their part to slow down, pay attention, and drive safely.”
Foot on the brake, eyes on the road, Blacquiere says.
“I understand drivers are interested in what is going on but if they’re looking at us doing our jobs they’re not looking at the road.”