Ontario’s Move Over Law

Vehicles required to move over for emergency vehicles and tow trucks

In Ontario, ‘Move Over’ legislation was drafted in 2003. The law requires drivers to slow down and proceed with caution when passing an emergency vehicle or tow truck parked on the side of the highway with its lights activated. If the highway has more than one lane, the law requires the driver to move over and leave one lane between their vehicle and the parked emergency vehicle or tow truck if it can be done safely.

Drivers can face fines from $490 to $2,000 by failing to comply.

What to drivers need to do?

Slow down: Reduce speed to less than the posted speed limit

Pass with caution: Proceed with caution

Move over: If the road has two or more lanes, you must move over and provide a lane of space between your vehicle and the emergency vehicle.

Where can I find the Move Over law?

The Move Over law is outlined in Section 159 (2,3) of the Highway Traffic Act at here


Tips for Reacting to Emergency Vehicles

Stay alert: Avoid driving distractions and keep your eyes on the road at all times

Be cautious: Always approach emergency vehicles with caution. You never know what could happen. Give them space to operate.

Use your signals: Always use your signal when you intend to make a lane change to move over for emergency vehicles.

No sudden movements: Avoid braking suddenly or making a sudden lane change. Check your blind spot and assess road conditions before changing direction or speed.


Move Over Violations Increasing

While Hamilton Police Services does not collect statistics on Move Over infractions, the Ontario Provincial Police Service (OPP) has seen an increase in the number of charges. In 2016, the OPP laid 2,443 Move Over (and related) charges, surpassing 2015 which also saw a significant increase over previous years.