A well-shared post from 2016 by a Carnduff firefighter has been serving recently as a reminder to the public that it’s the law to yield to emergency vehicles. In his post, the first responder explained how he had been assisting in attending a vehicle-rollover on a nearby highway, during which no drivers had stopped and very few pulled over to allow the emergency vehicle to pass.
Last month, the Weyburn Police Combined Traffic Safety Service issued $655 in fines for one driver who failed to slow down for an emergency vehicle and failed to pull over and stop for the police for nearly 5 kilometres.
“What we’re typically taught in Driver’s Ed is to pull over and stop for police or an emergency vehicle,” said Constable Kalin Wiebe with the Weyburn Police CTSS.
He explained that emergency vehicles include fire, ambulance, and police, with both lights and sirens activated, or with just the lights activated, or with just the sirens activated.
“So what’s required is the driver has to pull as far over the right, yield, and not enter the next intersection until after that emergency vehicle has passed,” explained Wiebe. “That’s written out in section 238, Sub 9 of the Traffic safety act, and the fine for disobeying that section is $125 dollars.”
Wiebe went on to explain that there’s also another section under the Traffic Safety Act 209.1 Sub 3, which is Disobeying the Signal of a Peace Officer to Stop.
“That is a straight summons, which means you have to go straight to court and you can be arrested for that offense,” he said, noting the two offenses often go together.
“So, obviously, if a person is failing to yield to an emergency vehicle it’s putting several people at risk,” said Wiebe. “It’s putting the emergency vehicle operator at risk because they’re trying to somewhere possibly to save a life, it’s putting other drivers on the road at risk, because obviously as we know lights and sirens can often cause confusion and anxiety in drivers.”
He emphasized that the most important thing is to pull over, stop, and let those emergency vehicles pass.
“If you don’t, you can be fined and/or arrested if it’s reported to police,” he said.
Safety rules are critical for keeping everyone alive on the highways and in the city.