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Winter weather prompts reminders to 'Slow Down and Move Over'

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First responders on the mid-island are asking for the public to obey “Slow Down and Move Over” laws, especially in light of this week's heavy snowfall.

“Our safety is our number one concern and it is challenging, especially along the Inland Highway, trying to get people to slow down on a good day,” says Chief Bruce Green of Oyster River Fire Rescue.

Provincial law requires motorists to slow down to 70km/h along highways and move over from the slow lane when approaching stopped vehicles with flashing lights.

“I would hope that people would understand that their stopping distance is a lot longer, so even though it says slow down and move over to 70, you should be going a lot slower than that,” Green says.

Green says his crews do whatever they can to notify drivers they’re approaching accident scenes, including using signage and flaggers. He says they will also turn their fire trucks sideways across roadways to protect firefighters from oncoming traffic.

“So if you see a big fire truck sideways across the road, that’s a good signal that something is going on and to slow down when you’re going through there," he says. "Obviously we’re there because of an accident."

Lead operator for Georgia Straight Towing Derek Mahy knows about the dangers tow truck drivers face, having faced some close calls himself.

“I was up on the highway the other day and I had all my traffic cones plowed down and they went about a kilometer up the highway, so if that was one of us, we probably would be in the hospital or worse,” Mahy says.

He says his trucks will often be accompanied by a second vehicle equipped with emergency lights to try to protect tow truck drivers and their vehicles.   

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