Police remind drivers to slow down around emergency vehicles

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KENORA, Ont. — A close call on a Northern Ontario highway has prompted the Ontario Provincial Police to remind truckers to slow down and change lanes when approaching emergency workers.

A truck driver was recently fined $1,000 for failing to do so and nearly killing two OPP officers in the process on Hwy. 17 West. The officers were attending to a single vehicle accident Jan. 4 near Granite Lake and had placed cones near the scene when an oncoming tractor trailer approached the accident at a high rate of speed.

The trucker then lost control of the vehicle prompting the officers to leap into the ditch to avoid being hit.

"This is a reminder for professional drivers using highways in Ontario to be aware of Section 159.1(1) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. When approaching an emergency vehicle stopped on the side of the highway drivers should slow down and proceed with caution, having due regard for traffic on and the conditions of the highway and the weather, to ensure the driver does not collide with the emergency vehicle or endanger any person outside of the emergency vehicle," warned Brian Jones, provincial constable with the OPP’s Kenora division.

He added failure to do so can result in fines of up to $2,000 for a first offence with subsequent offences netting fines of up to $4,000 or even imprisonment of up to six months. A conviction will also cost drivers three demerit points on their drivers’ licence.

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