That’s the primary reason many Canadian provinces are enforcing the move-over law, which emphasizes caution when passing stopped vehicles. Each year, a number of Canadians are killed in roadside accidents. Many victims include police officers and tow truck drivers, who are often struck while on-the-job.
Although the move-over law was originally designed to protect emergency workers, the legislation has brought attention to the overall dangers associated with pulling over. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure the safety of yourself and other motorists.
Choose your spot carefully
If you have the luxury of choosing where you can stop, take a quick scan of the roadside before picking a spot. Be sure to find an area that provides enough room between your vehicle and moving traffic. On a highway, for example, if you’re only a few feet from the white line that separates you and oncoming cars, this isn’t a safe place to pull over. Instead, choose an area that has a large shoulder, such as a rest stop or exit ramp.
The key to staying safe is staying visible. Make sure your vehicle can be easily seen by pulling over on a straight stretch of road. If you’re stopped at a curve, other motorists may not notice you as they come around the bend. And if you’re pulling over at night, turn on your interior lights to ensure extra visibility.
Adopt a ‘safety first’ mentality
There’s nothing wrong with driving an extra few seconds until you find a suitable place to stop, even after a cop has signalled you to pull over. Because roadside accidents are far too common, most police officers will sympathize with this ‘safety first’ mentality. Just remember to turn on your emergency flashers. This will signal to the officer that you’re looking for a safe place to pull over, rather than trying to evade them.