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Traffic Law Question for Canadians??

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Aug 7, 2020 - 5:45:03 PM
5613 posts since 8/19/2012

We watch 2 TV shows occasionally about tow drivers in Canada. One called Highway Through Hell is about heavy tow jobs in BC Mountains and the other is Heavy Rescue 401 about heavy tow jobs on Hyway 401 in Ontario.
Anyway one of the issues is that when the tow operators are working on the side of the roads the passing traffic does not slow down or move over unless the road is completely closed.
Here in Wisconsin not moving over for any emergency operation or police on the side of the road can cost you 3 points and $249. If you hit someone the penalties start with a suspended license up to 7 years in prison.
Here is a cut and paste from the WisDOT web site about it.

The law requires drivers to shift lanes or slow down in order to provide a "safety zone" for a squad car, ambulance, fire truck, tow truck, utility vehicle, or highway maintenance vehicle that is stopped on the side of a road with its warning lights flashing.

Drivers have two options for creating a safety zone:

If the road has more than one directional lane, like the Interstate, and you can switch lanes safely, you must move over to vacate the lane closest to the law enforcement or other vehicle with its lights flashing.
If the road has a single directional lane or you can't safely move over, you must reduce your speed.

So my question is: Does Canada have a 'Move Over Law'?   Is it enforced?

Aug 7, 2020 - 6:58:46 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

4697 posts since 1/5/2005

Ontario definitely has a slowdown and move over law. Most people observe it, some don't.

Enforced? Hmmm, probably if/when cops are available.

By the way, the section of 401 that runs through Toronto has the highest traffic density in North America.

Edited by - Bart Veerman on 08/07/2020 19:00:17

Aug 7, 2020 - 6:59:21 PM

chuckv97

Canada

51856 posts since 10/5/2013
Online Now

I think all provinces have “Move Over For Emergency Vehicles“ signs when you enter the province. Not sure why people are flying by on the lane closest to the tow trucks. Quite often they’ll block a lane off a half mile or so before the incident to keep vehicles away. If those wreckers are taking up a lane then there is no option.  

I've been through that so-called "highway through hell" hundreds of times in winter. It can get slippery up top at the Coquihalla Summit, the rest of it is no problem. I think most of those wrecks are from inexperienced drivers with no mountain driving time in, often from the eastern Canada. 

Edited by - chuckv97 on 08/07/2020 19:03:24

Aug 7, 2020 - 7:04:12 PM
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donc

Canada

6393 posts since 2/9/2010

Many roads in Canada don't even have specified lanes. I think the U.S. is more into laws and traffic enforcement. A few laws don't seem to exist here. If they do they are rarely enforced. Impeding traffic without moving over to a slow lane or shoulder seems to be rarely enforced here. A right turn on a red light light is allowed if you stop first and proceed with caution. I don't think that is allowed in some states. There is also a law here that states that you must merge left if you are approaching an on- ramp merging in on your right. I've heard of people getting a ticket but I bet most people are not even aware of that law. The highway through hell seems to feature roads over mountains. There is often  a situation where there is only 1 lane each way with no actual shoulder to pull over.

Edited by - donc on 08/07/2020 19:05:48

Aug 7, 2020 - 7:11:45 PM

bubbalouie

Canada

14069 posts since 9/27/2007

The Mrs. & I were talking about this last night, A lot of people don't respond or pull over for emergency vehicles.

I think their music is too loud or they have ear buds. Some songs & news articles have sirens in them & I notice it.

Aug 7, 2020 - 7:47:49 PM
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Brian T

Canada

16918 posts since 6/5/2008

I live in the Rockies. Narrow highways at the best of times.
We are "supposed to " slow down with accidents and construction.
I do. I can say that most don't.
Funny how a shovel handle can stick out at the strangest moment.

Wet landslides take pieces of our highways and toss them down the mountain sides.
The really stupid people get angry.

There's an agency called The Guardian Angels that do traffic control. I've seen those women out there with axe handles and baseball bats. Pay attention.

Aug 7, 2020 - 9:55:31 PM

Bart Veerman

Canada

4697 posts since 1/5/2005

quote:
Originally posted by donc

There is also a law here that states that you must merge left if you are approaching an on- ramp merging in on your right.


 

That's a BC thing that just don't fly in Ontario Don: the folks merging onto the highway on an on-ramp are the ones that must match their speed so they can enter the highway in front of, or behind, the car that's already in the slow lane which totally has the absolute right of way. 

It is suggested (in the newer driver's handbooks) that the car already on the highway and in the slow lane should make room for the car trying to enter the highway BUT IS NOT AT ALL REQUIRED TO DO SO > merging safely onto the highway totally is the responsibility of the car that's trying to enter the highway > meaning: they must come to a full stop until it's safe to enter the highway if needed.

Aug 9, 2020 - 9:05:29 PM

Paul R

Canada

13088 posts since 1/28/2010

I think, to be charitable, that sight lines have something to do with moving over. If you're behind one of the thousands of transport trucks glutting the 401, it's hard to see what's ahead. (And why is that stuff in trucks and not on trains?) And sometimes there isn't room to move over. But I think the majority (maybe a slim majority) move over when someone is stopped at the side of the highway. They sure move over when they see the flashing lights of an attending cop car.

But if I had to stop on the 401, the first thing I'd do is get the h--- out and away from the car.

The 401 through Toronto is an "experience". It's rush-hour all day, with attendant stop-start traffic jams. And you never see the cause of the jam. By the time things get moving again, the cause is gone. The Don Valley Parkway is just as bad, if not worse. So much so, they call it the Don Valley Parking Lot. The best times I've driven the 401 through T.O. would be about 5:00 a.m., before anyone is awake and when the trucks are mostly "home in bed".

Funny, today (Sunday) we drove the 417 in Ottawa. It seems there's a different mentality, a little less aggressive. Just seemed so, anyway.

As far as roads without lanes, sure, back roads with little traffic, same as everywhere. (I'd love to cycle on some of those English lanes.)

Aug 10, 2020 - 7:35:23 AM

Owen

Canada

6082 posts since 6/5/2011

quote:
Originally posted by Bart Veerman.
<snip> ...the car already on the highway and in the slow lane should make room for the car trying to enter the highway BUT IS NOT AT ALL REQUIRED TO DO SO > merging safely onto the highway totally is the responsibility of the car that's trying to enter the highway > meaning: they must come to a full stop until it's safe to enter the highway if needed.

I'm currently too lazy to "look it up," but I think it's that way in MB, too.... a courtesy, or  common sense, or in-a-pig's-arse, depending on one's outlook.   Two problems are evident in 'way too many places: a) a merge lane only a few car lengths long [even out here on the prairies when there often is a quarter mile or more of "open space"], and b) 'way too many merging drivers using the brakes when they should be using the accelerator.

Edit:  Paul, if you get out into Canada's "real" countryside,  [i.e. very lightly used gravel roads] you might notice that it's safer to cycle on the left.   cheeky

Edited by - Owen on 08/10/2020 07:43:36

Aug 10, 2020 - 5:58:48 PM

donc

Canada

6393 posts since 2/9/2010

Prairie driving to me is being on a continual cruz control. Once you leave a town in Saskatchewan you can almost see the next one. Once you get out of B.C. going east the trip becomes a piece of cake until you get to southern Ontario. I'm only saying that because it is now summer time. After October I will be staying within 100 km of Vancouver.

Aug 10, 2020 - 6:55:08 PM

Paul R

Canada

13088 posts since 1/28/2010

Baloney, Owen. angel

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