Calgary, AB,

Slow down, move over event

Tow truck drivers, first responders, road maintenance crews and the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund are teaming up to bring awareness to road safety and the need for drivers to slow down and move over when they see vehicles with flashing lights on Calgary roadways.

On March 7, 2017, tow truck driver Courtney Schaefer was struck and killed near Esterhazy, Sask. In remembrance of his death and to remind the public about the dangers these professionals face when working on busy roadways, the seventh annual roadside event will take place tonight.

Between 7 and 8 p.m., today, Thursday, March 7, 2024, a contingent of emergency services vehicles will be parked in both directions alongside Deerfoot Trail near the offramps to Glenmore Trail, as a reminder for drivers to slow down and move over.

When an emergency vehicle, tow truck, or road service vehicle, including a snowplow, is stopped with flashing lights activated, motorists are required to slow down to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower, in the adjacent lane.

Fines for speeding while passing an emergency vehicle or road service vehicle while stopped on the side of the road with the flashing lights activated are doubled, and can range from $136 to $991, depending on speed.

A mandatory court appearance is required for any motorist travelling more than 50km/h over the speed limit.

“This event serves as a reminder that everyone deserves to head home from work at the end of each day, including those working on our roadways, whether that is for emergency response or roadside service,” says Sergeant Brad Norman of the Calgary Police Service Traffic Section. “As a motorist, it is your duty to ensure the safety of those around you while on the road. Slow down, move over, and give emergency and roadside workers room to do their jobs safely.”

The John Petropoulos Memorial Fund exists because we know all too well the pain of a loved one never coming home again due to a workplace incident,” says Cliff O’Brien, chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. “We need drivers to slow down and give first responders room to work; they don’t dictate where the emergencies occur. Our goal is to have everyone make it home safely to their families at the end of every shift.”