Burnaby, British Columbia – A new law requiring drivers to slow down and move over when passing stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights is now the law in British Columbia, effective June 1, 2009.

The new law requires drivers to slow down 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 its 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.

Until now, B.C. has only had such laws for driving in construction zones, and none to protect emergency roadside personnel such as police, fire, ambulance and towing vehicles. The penalty for those in contravention of the new law is a fine and three license penalty points. The fine, including a 15 per cent surcharge, is $148 if paid within 30 days, and $175 thereafter.

Connect with Autos.ca