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The "MOVE OVER" Law

mariomike

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This Ontario PSA was published a few days ago.

Posting it here for anyone interested:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltM-zTspzsU&list=UU-upHFf1h7NDgWwva7VdtZg&index=2&feature=plcp


 

Scott

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15 years as a firefighter, 12 as a trained driver, I haven't seen it all, but I have seen a lot of stupidity. I have seen those who might be awesome drivers normally completely freeze as soon as they hear sirens and/or see lights.

I am also the dink who takes license plate numbers and hands them over to the cops.

And while we are at it, slow the fuck down when passing emergency vehicles on a roadway. It is scary as hell seeing a 2000 pound vehicle whip by you at 120.
 

mariomike

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Scott said:
And while we are at it, slow the fuck down when passing emergency vehicles on a roadway.

It can also be pretty expensive:

First Offence - $400 to $2,000, plus 3 demerit points upon conviction

Second Offence (within 5 years) - $1,000 to $4,000, possible jail time up to 6 months and possible suspension of driver's licence for up to 2 years.
 

Scott

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As it should be.

I've had a few scares in my time. Almost spent Christmas in hospital after a roof caught me on my melon. But I never feel more "fear" than when responding to calls or parked roadside for one.

The best thing folks can do is slow down, get over and not become another part of an already screwed up scenario. I can count at least six times when the initial accident scene grew by sometimes three or four more because of rubberneckers.

Slow down, get over, keep your eyes on the road in front of you and get the hell past the situation.

I have been known to ever so subtly encourage people to keep on driving. And no, I do not care if my language ever offended anyone.
 

startbutton

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I agree the law and the fines that come with should be in place. And wasn't last week that 20 some people found out the hard way about the distracted driver law as they were caught  slowing down and taking photos of an accident on the 401. Could have been a heck of a lot worse of a situation.
 

2 Cdo

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startbutton said:
I agree the law and the fines that come with should be in place. And wasn't last week that 20 some people found out the hard way about the distracted driver law as they were caught  slowing down and taking photos of an accident on the 401. Could have been a heck of a lot worse of a situation.

Yep, right here in Kingston!  ;D
 

Scott

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I love seeing CF personnel roll up on to one of my scenes. They always ask me if we need them to do anything, often after pulling over and getting out, not just as they pass. It's almost never necessary, but I have found it handy when I turned a CBH CSM (a former course warrant of mine) loose on the CBC van that was blocking traffic >:D
 

241

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Pretty said that governments have to waist time, energy, and resources drafting and passing laws for stuff like this that for the majority of us is common sense but for a few is an concept that seems to be as hard to grasp as rocket science....
 

mariomike

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241 said:
Pretty said that governments have to waist time, energy, and resources drafting and passing laws for stuff like this that for the majority of us is common sense but for a few is an concept that seems to be as hard to grasp as rocket science....

I think they call it, "Education through enforcement."

 

cupper

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Scott said:
And while we are at it, slow the fuck down when passing emergency vehicles on a roadway. It is scary as hell seeing a 2000 pound vehicle whip by you at 120.

A few construction sites I've been too in the course of my job have been scary experiences as well. Nothing like having a car blow by 5 feet from you at 65 mph. And only some traffic barrels dressed in Philadelphia Flyers uniforms separating you and the @$$hat behind the wheel.

I don't speed through your office, so don't be speeding though mine.

Whether it's Emergency Services or a construction crew, slow down, and give them room.
 

DexOlesa

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Now I am a person who always pulls to the right and gets out of emergency responders way. Everyone should. I'm glad they are increasing fines, and cracking down on this. HOWEVER, emergency responders need to exercise some common sense too. I was driving downtown in an 18 wheeler, clearly marked as a Driving school training vehicle. I'm at a stop light on a street with two lanes going the same direction. Light turns green I slowly start off in first gear. start picking up gears. I'm now partially into the intersection. Checking my mirrors I see flashing lights, an ambulance. Well I'm in the middle of the intersection so I can't just stop and pull over gotta make it through. Not worried though cause the ambulance is in the lane beside me and by the time I get this rig through the intersection will have gone right past me. Nope.... Idiot sits just off my bumper blaring the siren flashing the lights, honking for me to move over and stop. Even moving over there is no where for me to go. Its two lanes I'm in the right lane and then there is sidewalk. He had a clear lane, instead of just going, had to make a point I guess. I DID stop as soon as I had cleared the intersection, but I'm 75 feet long, it takes a while.
 

mariomike

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DexOlesa said:
Idiot sits just off my bumper blaring the siren flashing the lights, honking for me to move over and stop.

When I hired on 40 years ago my partner told me that we should not forcefully take the right of way; other drivers had to voluntarily relinquish it.

To practice Defensive Driving. Especially when deciding to cross the center line, speed or go through red lights.

Over-use of the siren / air horn not only upset the patient and family in the back, it also disturbed the neighbourhoods.

More importantly, over-use caused panic reactions among other drivers. You never knew what they were going to do.

Metro Police ( except for the Accident Squad ) did not even have sirens in those days.

Something the department was always aware of was that it was / is only a small minority of paramedics who account for a disproportionate number of accidents, and nearly all injuries.

The solution was simple. They got those individuals the hell out of the driver's seat before they killed someone.

They can't do that anymore.

They just keep sending and re-sending the same drivers for remedial training.

Then putting them back behind the wheel.

Fortunately, on the Multi-Patient Units ( MPU's ) they made sure to put the right people behind the wheel in the first place. 

Incidentally, regarding the video in the Original Post:

August 30, 2012

"City of Toronto removes video depicting a truck driver acquitted of charges in relation to deadly crash:

A spokeswoman for the City of Toronto said DeMerchant’s complaint is being taken seriously."

The incident is described at 14:15 -> on the video ( which is still available on Youtube ).




 

Sheerin

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Personally i wish they would enforce the 'change lanes' law.  Too often I've come close to near death because some asshat has decided to stay in the lane closeest to my ambulance while going 20 above the post limited. 

Main Street in hamilton is probably the worst for this, as it's one way and 4 or lanes across.  I've often thought that we should send someone out who is on modified with a truck, have him sit at the side of the road with his lights on and have a couple cops just down stream pulling people over.  Somehow I doubt that'll ever happen. 

Last year I was involved into two MVCs at work, once as a passenger and the other as a driver and in both instances it was people blowing through intersections not paying attention. 
 

211RadOp

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What also pisses me off is the idiots who follow emergency vehicles just to get through the traffic.  Yesterday while driving to Waterloo, a Toronto fire truck was going down the shoulder/left lane of the collectors with a white Taurus following it the whole time.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Isn't it the reason they have those signs on the rear saying "Do not follow closer than 150 meters"?


Oh! I forgot, people can read their text messages on a 3 inch screen while driving but are incapable of the feat with anything written on the other side of their windshields. /SARACSM OFF

I wish people would realize just how fast you can bring a truck (especially an empty one) to a stop with air brakes: You beat idiots in sports car all the time.
 

mariomike

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startbutton said:
And wasn't last week that 20 some people found out the hard way about the distracted driver law as they were caught  slowing down and taking photos of an accident on the 401.

I read that in Europe many places put up large blackout curtains around accident scenes to discourage rubberneckers.

211RadOp said:
What also pisses me off is the idiots who follow emergency vehicles just to get through the traffic. 

It can be particularly hazardous when a car load of distraught family members tailgate the ambulance from home to the hospital.

Even when it involves driving at the same speed as the ambulance, tailgating through red lights and crossing over the center line.

It's really unnecessary because every reasonable effort is made to accommodate family and friends wishing to accompany a patient during transport.

211RadOp said:
Yesterday while driving to Waterloo, a Toronto fire truck was going down the shoulder/left lane of the collectors with a white Taurus following it the whole time.

In Ontario, it is illegal to follow within 150 metres of a fire vehicle or ambulance responding to a call in any lane going in the same direction.

Sheerin said:
Last year I was involved into two MVCs at work, once as a passenger and the other as a driver and in both instances it was people blowing through intersections not paying attention.

A "typical" intersection accident involving T-EMS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d53NjaNQYJk



 

Sheerin

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Actually as much as I hate to say it, but looking at the video it looks like the TEMS truck was at fault.  It is so easy to do what I euphemistically refer to as "code 4" stops (rolling stops), it takes a bit to break that habit. 

Last summer I was T-boned while responding to a code 4 in a PRU (Paramedic Response Unit, the SUVs).  I had the red when I came to the intersection, I stopped, made sure it was clear and then proceeded into the intersection.  Unfortunately a kid driving an F-250 going about 40 above the speed limit dind't understand why everyone was stopped in his lane, so he did what he thought what was logical, and passed everyone by going into the left turn lane and then entered the intersection, a fraction of a section later he collided with the back quarter of my PRU spinning me around.  I was actually quite fortunate as I probably would have flipped if he hit me more in the centre of he vehicle. 

Technically I was at fault because I had the red, however I had a tonne of witnesses who said I did everything right and the kid was driving without care.  he ended up getting a careless charge.  He was convicted, just not sure if it was that charge or a lesser one as the day before his court appearance he apparently plead out. 
 

mariomike

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Sheerin said:
Actually as much as I hate to say it, but looking at the video it looks like the TEMS truck was at fault.

T-EMS has an S.O.P for everything...

Policy Number 03.04.25   

Proceeding Through Red Traffic Light

In order to satisfy the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and meet all safety requirements, ensure that
you adhere to the following:

• Ensure that ALL Emergency Lights are activated;
• Ensure that the Siren is activated;
• As you approach the Red traffic light, come to a COMPLETE stop at or before the stop
line (if no stop line at or before the side walk/ cross walk, if no side walk/ cross walk at
or before entering the adjacent traffic);
• When it is safe to do so, slowly pull forward blocking the first lane of traffic but stop
short of the next lane of traffic;
• Continue repeating the above point until you have cleared the intersection.

REMEMBER:
Your emergency warning systems do not exempt you from the Red Light; they exempt you from
having to wait for the Green Light. You must come to a complete stop before safely proceeding
as indicated above.
 

Scott

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Sheerin,

I'd say you were 100% okay. Training, SOPs, witnesses and a careless charge against the other all bolster that. But I am reminded of what I was told during my CEVOII: that if we are in an opposing lane, running a red, speeding, etc. and we have a smash then we will ALWAYS be looked at with great scrutiny. As it should be, I suppose. Thankfully you had the witnesses.

I get more than a little miffed seeing EHS going with lights and no siren. The Traffic Act is pretty clear cut - lights AND siren unless not moving. We used to dial down the sirens in the wee hours until someone had a near miss and the Chief thought it better to piss a few people off with the wailers than take a chance in court or against an insurance company. Anyone I have ever had complain to me always goes away not so angry when I explain the situation.

On the topic of lights: there's a push on here to see vollies get the green courtesy light. I'm on the "over my dead body" side of the fence. Thus far their group has only served to denigrate anyone that disagrees with them and back up their position with, "well, Ontario and Saskatchewan, etc. do it" I have asked for hard stats on how much time would actually be saved, considering the volly world means you never, ever know who is coming and from where, but alas my inbox remains empty.

 

Sheerin

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I personally hate using the sirens, mostly because they're annoying to listen to.  I also don't believe it's 100% necessary for them in all situations. 

As for the green lights, i've had some issues with vollies and their bloody green lights.  I've written a few up over the last couple years, and unfortunately nothing as far as i'm aware has come from it. 

 
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