One Change to Slow Down and Move Over Rule Improves Safety

Slow Down and Move Over. Pretty straight forward rule to follow but we’ve made it even simpler to keep roadside workers safer.

In a nutshell: if you see any vehicle flashing red, blue or yellow lights on a BC highway, move over to pass.

Or more specifically, the Slow Down, Move Over rule states:

Drivers must slow their speed to 70km/h when in an 80km/h or over zone, and 40km/h when in an under 80km/h zone. If travelling on a multi-lane road, the driver must move into another lane to pass when passing stopped vehicles with a flashing light, where safe to do so.

Whether the vehicle is a police, fire, ambulance, tow trucks, maintenance contractors, Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement vehicles, park rangers and conservation officers, please obey the law. We made the change to the rule because before it stated “official vehicles,” but our stakeholders, including the BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, raised concerns that the previous regulation didn’t include/protect all roadside workers. For example, maintenance workers are frequently required to stop on the side of the road for inspections or highway maintenance. These workers are at equal or greater risk than many of the workers covered under the old regulations.

So we updated it.

This change will improve safety for all those working our roadsides, including highway maintenance workers, utility workers, land surveyors, animal control workers and garbage collectors, reducing the risk of them being struck by passing vehicles. Please note that the law also protects people who work for Canada Post, delivering mail to community mailboxes along rural highways and roads. These workers operate either private or Canada Post vehicles equipped with flashing amber lights, that they turn on while stopped.

It all started January 1st, 2015. I hope you agree that that’s a pretty good way to start the new year: improving safety.

Please drive safely, for you and for those using our roads as well.

Here’s the news release announcing the change.


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  1. If I move over 1 lane, do I still need to slow down? Do all lanes of traffic in the same direction (let’s say 4 lanes on a highway), need to slow down to 70km/h?

    • Hi Randy,

      Good questions. Yes, you need to slow down. Even if you are not in the lane directly beside the working vehicle, you will need to adjust your speed to accommodate vehicles which may need to move into your lane. Giving the workers a wide enough berth and moving at a reasonable speed helps everyone. Thanks!

  2. Has any thought been given to having construction speed zones signs all be set to 40km/h as it may cause confusion where oginal speed is 80 and construction speed limit is 60. Would have to slow to 40 when passing vehicles but not necessarily workers. And I’m not clear whether the legislation applies to the original speed limit or the current speed limit.

    • Hi Murray,

      The legislation applies to the current speed limit posted.Thanks for your feedback, we will share it forward on your behalf. Hope that this helps!