When driving, incidents may cause the lanes of the roadway to be blocked or narrowed. Some examples of this are traffic collisions, disabled vehicles, spilled cargo, and highway maintenance or construction.

Flashing lights from emergency vehicles will warn you of a problem ahead. Reduce speed, carefully change lanes if necessary and be prepared to stop. Follow directions given by emergency personnel directing traffic. Be aware that the vehicle ahead of you may stop or reduce speed unexpectedly to view the scene.

One of the most serious problems associated with these types of incidents is the risk of response personnel or equipment being struck by passing vehicles. Services that typically respond to highway incidents include:

  • law enforcement
  • ambulance
  • fire
  • towing

Motorists must reduce speed to 60 km/h or the posted speed, whichever is lower, when passing emergency vehicles or tow trucks that are stopped with their lights flashing. This law applies to the lane(s) immediately next to the stopped vehicles. The fine for speeding in these areas is doubled.

Maximum 60 km/hour when passing emergency vehicles.
Maximum 60 km/hour when passing emergency vehicles.

If you are not in the lane next to the stopped vehicles, you still need to be watchful and cautious.

Reduce your speed and leave lots of space between yourself and emergency personnel and equipment at the scene. Also, watch for the movement of personnel around the scene.