REGINA, Sask. — A new Saskatchewan law requiring drivers to slow down when approaching emergency personnel is being enforced with hefty fines a little sooner than expected.
“It’s a law that was initiated to improve the safety of people that are operating in and around safety vehicles,” explains Rhonda Raddatz, manager of driver safety services with Saskatchewan Government Insurance.
The amendments to the Highway Traffic Act came silently into effect Aug. 1, 2000 — they required legislative changes before it could be enforced.
Those changes were made in December of last year and police are now fining drivers who don’t slow to 60 km/h when passing emergency vehicles while their lights are flashing.
Raddatz stresses her department is trying to increase awareness of the new law.
“We are continuing to try to educate the public through different means,” says Raddatz. “The biggest challenge is communicating it.”
Penalties for ignoring the law start at $140 and increase by $2 for every km/h over 60. Speeders guilty of the new offence will be hit even harder with a $140 fine plus $4 for each km/h over the limit.