While Alberta motorists were expecting that there would be new laws to abide by come Wednesday, March 1 when it came to the passing of road service vehicles, the province has confirmed that the legislation will be delayed several months.
According to the Press Secretary for Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors, Jesse Furber, the decision was made in order to allow for thorough public engagement, including working with industry partners.
He added that the Blue light pilot program which was enacted in order to allow tow truck operators to increase their visibility and safety while working on Alberta highways will continue on and is slated to be renewed for five years.
The current laws governing emergency vehicles are still in place.
"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," the provincial law states.
However, the changes which were slated to begin at the beginning of March were meant to include snowplows, and highway maintenance vehicles, in addition to emergency vehicles and tow trucks. Come this fall, motorists will be required to:
- Slow down to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower, in all lanes travelling in the same direction on multi-lane highways and roadways.
- Slow down to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower, when travelling in either direction on single-lane highways and roadways.
"This change gives snowplow operators and roadside maintenance teams the same legislated protection as first responders, tow truck operators and construction crews. Having consistent traffic rules for all roadside workers also reduces confusion for motorists and increases highway safety," the province previously stated
Fines for speeding while passing an emergency vehicle or road service vehicle stopped on the side of the road with 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.
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