News release

Legislation Requires Drivers to Reduce Speed for Emergency Vehicles

The province is stepping up efforts to protect police officers, paramedics and other emergency personnel with legislation that comes into effect May 1, limiting drivers' speed when passing stopped emergency vehicles.

Motorists will be required to slow down to 60 kilometres per hour or the posted speed limit if it is less, when passing a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights flashing. Drivers traveling in a lane immediately adjacent to a stopped emergency vehicle must also move into another lane to pass if one is available and it is safe to do so.

The law was passed during the fall session of the legislature. It was originally introduced as a private members' bill by MLA David Wilson, a former paramedic, in the fall 2007 session.

"By asking drivers to slow down and move over, we're taking action to protect our emergency responders," said Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "The law will allow our dedicated emergency workers to do their job without having to worry about personal safety."

The fines, including court costs, range from $340.21 to $2410.21 depending on the speed of the vehicle. Many jurisdictions in Canada and the United States have similar legislation.

"I've experienced first hand the dangers of working on the side of the road at an emergency scene," said paramedic Francine Butts. "I urge drivers to remember that this is our work environment and by slowing down and moving over you help us stay safe so others stay alive."

The province is launching a public awareness campaign this month including print, radio, TV and online ads reminding drivers of the new law.

For more information on the legislation and to see the ads, visit the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal website at www.gov.ns.ca/tran .

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The province is stepping up efforts to protect police officers, paramedics and other emergency personnel by limiting drivers' speed when passing stopped emergency vehicles.

Legislation, which comes into effect May 1st, requires motorists to slow down to 60 kilometres per hour or the posted speed limit if it's less, when passing a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights flashing. Drivers traveling in a lane immediately adjacent to a stopped emergency vehicle must also move into another lane if one is available and it is safe to do so.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks says the law allows dedicated emergency workers to do their job without having to worry about personal safety.

More information on the new law can be found on the department website.

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Media Contact:

Lindsay Lewis
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal 902-424-3289 E-mail: