An emergency vehicle or tow truck stopped on the road with lights flashing should be a sign for motorists to slow down and pass with caution.
For years, laws have been on the books requiring B.C. drivers to slow down when passing official vehicles stopped on the side of the road, but too many drivers ignore these laws.
As a result, emergency workers have to face near misses during routine stops or when attending accidents. Some workers have been injured or killed.
On Tuesday, a provincewide initiative was launched to remind drivers to slow down around official vehicles with their lights flashing.
The fact that such a campaign was deemed necessary suggests the problem is real. There is a risk for emergency workers when they have to stop on a highway.
So far, Summerland emergency workers have been fortunate.
While they have far too many stories of close calls, they have not had injuries or deaths as the result of drivers speeding past them. Still, the risk is present and it is a reality they face in the course of their jobs.
Drivers who do not slow down present a risk for emergency workers, as do drivers who turn to look at the incident rather than focussing on their driving. Such behaviours increase the chance of a preventable accident.
A call for motorists to slow down and pay attention when passing stopped emergency vehicle should be common sense. It’s about safety.
Any time a vehicle is stopped on the road, there is an effect on the flow of traffic and road safety in the immediate area.
Highway 97 through Summerland has been the site of far too many accidents, including some with fatalities.
Those who patrol the streets and roads and those who respond to accidents should be able to do their jobs without a needless and preventable risk to their safety.