With winter conditions adding to the perils of highway travel and city driving, Weyburn Police are reminding residents that when it comes to passing emergency vehicles, it is the law to slow down.
Under the Traffic Safety Act, drivers must slow down when passing police, fire, ambulance, tow trucks and construction crews.
“You must slow to 60 km/h,” said Constable Kalin Wiebe with the Weyburn Police Combined Traffic Safety Service. “That’s the minimum you have to slow down.”
He said sometimes road conditions or the specific circumstances still dictate 60 km/h as too fast.
“If you slow down to 40 km/h, we’re happy with that, and that’s typically on highways where the speed limit is above 60 km/h,” he explained.
“If road conditions are poor, or weather conditions are poor, that 60 km/h still may be dangerous, so a person could still be charged with driving at a speed greater than reasonable or safe, or driving with undue care and attention, even if they are going 60 km/h or less, it’s all dependant on the variables, again, road conditions, the scene, et cetera.”
Wiebe noted that slow to 60 doesn’t mean speed up to 60 in city limits, where 40 km/h is the limit.
“You still need to do at least the minimum speed limit listed, or lower,” he said, adding that fines for speeding are quite high and also include demerit points taken off of the driver’s license.
While drivers are trying to get home to their families, their impatience for construction or emergency vehicles can result in those workers or first responders never making it home to their families.
“The whole reason for that law is there’s been emergency service workers and construction workers that have been killed or severely injured because of people driving quicker than that speed limit,” noted Wiebe.
To ensure everyone arrives home safely, drivers must drive within speed limits, keeping in mind that everyone on the road, in a vehicle or working in the elements, wants to get home in one piece at the end of the day.