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OPP cracking down on drivers not obeying 'Move Over Law' this long weekend

This long weekend the OPP will be out patrolling our area highways focusing on the 'Big 4', which includes speeding, impaired, aggressive and distracted drivers.

They'll also be cracking down on drivers who don't obey the 'Move Over Law'.

The law was introduced in Ontario in 2003 after the death of OPP Sgt. Margaret Eve, who was struck by a tractor trailer while conducting a traffic stop in June 2000.

She died from her injuries just days later.

The ‘Move Over Law’ requires drivers to slow down and proceed with caution when approaching an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the highway, or if possible, leave one lane of space between their car and the emergency vehicle.

OPP Constable John Armit said it's frustrating and worrisome when people don't follow the law.

"I'll have someone stopped for a traffic related incident and you'll see people actually focused on the cruiser and the lights, instead of focusing on moving over to the left," he explained. "They'll start to drive pretty close to our cruisers, you start to see them either hit the rumble strips or the gravel and veer to the left."

He's had a few close calls himself.

Cst. Armit described one incident that happened at an accident scene on the 417. It was 10 p.m. and he said visibility was clear. Police had set up flares blocking one lane, giving distance between drivers and the accident.

"Well, doesn't this guy almost run into the back of all of our cruisers. My partner had to pull me out of one lane, that was blocked, as the guy at the last second, swerved into the other lane. There were no other cars around him and there's absolutely no reason why."

The man told them he was distracted by thoughts of work and wasn't paying attention.

So far this year, the OPP have laid 763 charges stemming from the 'Move Over Law'. Drivers caught not slowing down to moving over for emergency vehicles could be facing a fine of up to $2,000.

The 'Move Over Law' is in place for drivers in Ontario, Quebec and New York State.

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