Publications
October 2012

Move Over law and two-way radio use (CB or Mike) while driving

By Stéphanie Provost Lawyer

Move Over law

Bill 57 (Loi modifiant l'encadrement de l'utilisation des cinémomètres photographiques et des systèmes photographiques de contrôle de circulation aux feux rouges et d'autres dispositions législatives), which was passed on June 6th, significantly changes the province's driving rules.

First, a new section of the Highway Safety Code (HSC) (Art. 406.1 HSC) stipulates that drivers must carry out move over manoeuvres when an emergency vehicle, tow truck or surveillance vehicle is stopped on a public road. Drivers must create a buffer lane by slowing down and putting as much distance as possible between themselves and the stopped vehicle.

An offence is committed if:

  • There is an emergency vehicle (section 4 of the HSC stipulates that "emergency vehicle" means a road vehicle used as a police car, a road vehicle used as an ambulance, a fire safety vehicle, or any other road vehicle which meets the criteria established by regulation for recognition as an emergency vehicle by the SAAQ) or tow truck;
  • Its flashing or rotating lights are activated;
  • It is immobilized on a public road.

The various manoeuvres to create a corridor are as follows:

Emergency vehicle stopped in a lane (section 406.1, prg. 1 HSC)

  • When an emergency vehicle is stopped in a lane in which vehicles are travelling, the vehicles must slow down to avoid endangering the safety or life of the people in the lane or stop to yield the right of way to the vehicles travelling in the opposite direction and then change lanes after making sure it is safe to do so. This situation applies when vehicles are travelling in the opposite direction or on a road with two lanes in the same direction (e.g. highway).
  • If the emergency vehicle is stopped in a lane contiguous to the lane in which vehicles are travelling, the vehicles must slow down and put as much distance as possible between themselves and the emergency vehicle that is stopped, while remaining in the lane in which they are travelling.

Emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder (Art. 406.1, al. 2 CSR)

  • If vehicles are travelling in the opposite direction, they must slow down (as described earlier) and put as much distance as possible between themselves and the emergency vehicle, while remaining in the same lane.
  • If the vehicles are travelling in the same direction, they must slow down and change lanes after making sure it is safe to do so. If it is impossible to change lanes safely, drivers must slow down and put as much distance as possible between themselves and the emergency vehicle, while remaining in the same lane.

The aim of these manoeuvres is to create a safety corridor between the emergency vehicle and the vehicles travelling on public roads. It is important to note that a $200 to $300 fine and a penalty of 4 demerit points shall be given in the case of a violation. This measure has been in force since August 5, 2012 (Art. 37 (2) Loi modifiant l'encadrement de l'utilisation des cinémomètres photographiques et des systèmes photographiques de contrôle de circulation aux feux rouges et d'autres dispositions législatives).

For more information, visit the website of the Ministère des Transports:

http://www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/portal/page/portal/grand_public_en/vehicules_promenade/securite_routiere/corridor_securite

Two-way radio use (CB or Mike) while driving

Bill 57 also amends the section prohibiting people from using a hand-held device that includes a telephone function while driving (section 439.1 HSC). In fact, drivers are now permitted to use a two-way radio such as a CB or Mike without violating the HSC. This amendment only pertains to these devices and came into effect on June 6, 2012 (section 37, above noted, note 4).

Remember to always exercise caution while driving, for your safety and your driving record!