With the temperature dropping and snow falling, here is your reminder to follow the newest rule on Alberta roads as we will see plenty of vehicles in the ditch and collisions.

According to the province, drivers in the lane closest to any roadside worker vehicle stopped at the side of the road with its lights flashing must slow down to 60 km/h or the posted speed limit, whichever is lower. Drivers must also move over to the far lane if it’s safe to do so and take reasonable steps to allow other drivers to move over as well.

In a press release, the province underlined that in order to help enforce these changes, fines, and demerits will be applied for unsafe behaviors when passing roadside workers and snowplows. Failure to comply with these rules can result in a fine and three demerit points:

  • $243 and three demerit points for failing to slow down to the maximum speed limit when passing stopped roadside workers.

  • $243 fine and three demerit points for failing to allow other drivers to move into a traffic lane farther from a stopped emergency vehicle, tow truck, or roadside work vehicle.

  • A fine of $324 and three demerit points for unsafe passing of snowplows.

The new roadside worker safety rules will apply to all roadside workers, including first responders, tow truck operators, highway maintenance workers, and snowplow operators. Currently, only tow truck drivers and first responders are protected under the Traffic Safety Act, but now all roadside workers stopped on the side of the road, with their flashing lights activated, will be covered by these protections.

Statistics provided by the province show that during the winter of 2022-23, there were 37 collisions involving a government-contracted snowplow. Between March 2018 and March 2021, there were approximately 130 collisions involving snowplows contracted by Transportation and Economic Corridors.

This new law came into effect on September 1.

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