Drivers on either side of an undivided highway who speed by a stopped tow truck, with lights flashing, will be subject to a $300 fine as of Sept. 12.
The new fine is being brought in by the Selinger government under the Highway Traffic Act to provide more safety for first responders.
Right now, drivers on the same side of the road as a stopped emergency vehicle — tow trucks, roadside-assistance vehicles and vehicles operated by government enforcement officers with their beacons activated — are just required to slow down. Drivers travelling on a multi-lane highway must also move to a lane farther from emergency vehicles and only pass emergency vehicles when it is safe to do so.
Effective Sept. 12, drivers on either side of an undivided highway who pass emergency vehicles and other vehicles that are stopped with their beacons flashing will be required to slow down to the following maximum speeds: 40 km/h on highways with posted maximum speed limits below 80 km/h and 60 km/h on highways with posted maximum speed limits of 80 km/h or more. CAA Manitoba first lobbied the government for the creation of such a law in 2009.
Drivers who do not follow the new reduced speeds risk a fine of $299.65 and two demerit points on their driver safety rating.
In May, the province doubled speeding fines for lead-foots zooming through designated construction zones.