Slow Down, Move Over Law
THORNHILL, ON. CAA and the Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO) remind motorists to create safe space on the roads for tow trucks providing service on the shoulder of the highway. Please avoid 'rubbernecking' when passing a highway incident. Rubbernecking involves taking your eyes off the road in order to stare at the drama happening on the shoulder. Sometimes motorists slow down to rubberneck and sometimes they don't, but either way, more accidents are often a result, not to mention clogged traffic.
"Tow truck drivers, along with police and emergency service providers are responding to unplanned incidents and collisions on our highways every day," said Cindy Hillaby, vice president, automotive services and GCR, CAA SCO. "We are reminding drivers to do their part to help those working on our roadways clear the road faster and more safely by slowing down, moving over and avoiding the temptation to stare at roadway incidents – also known as rubbernecking."
THE REMINDER COMES AHEAD OF THE TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF CHANGES TO THE PROVINCE'S SLOW DOWN, MOVE OVER (SDMO) LAW, AND COINCIDES WITH THE LAUNCH OF TOW SAFETY WEEK. ACROSS NORTH AMERICA, NEARLY 100 TOW TRUCK DRIVERS ARE KILLED EVERY YEAR AFTER BEING STRUCK BY ONCOMING TRAFFIC WHILE HELPING STRANDED MOTORISTS WITH FLAT TIRES, BREAKDOWNS AND COLLISIONS.
"It is important for drivers to remember that Ontario's roads and highways are the workplaces for those helping to clear the road," said Joey Gagne, president, Provincial Towing Association (Ontario). "Everyone deserves a safe place to work, and by following the law by slowing down and moving over, drivers can make a big difference in the safety and speed of that work."
Last year, the Ontario Provincial Police laid a total of 2,031 charges under Ontario's Slow Down Move Over law. The law includes a fine of $490 and three demerit points.
For those in need of towing services, motorists should be aware of their rights before authorizing a tow.
Through the Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act, enhancements to Ontario's Consumer Protection Act now require tow and storage service providers to: