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Province to Reduce Highway Speed Limits to Protect Emergency Workers

December 4, 2012 12:31 PM | News

RCMP officer M. Drouin directs traffic from Highway 207 in this file photo. (TED GRANT / CHRISD.CA)

New rules introduced by the Manitoba government on Tuesday would limit the speed motorists could travel when passing emergency workers on the roadside when their beacons are flashing.

“Emergency workers must be able to do their jobs without fear of being hit by a speeding vehicle,” Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said. “It is tragic when police, paramedics, firefighters or other emergency workers are hurt or killed while helping injured people at an accident scene or when assisting stranded motorists on the roadside.”

The legislation would also protect tow truck drivers.

Under the plan, there would be a reduced speed limit of 40 km/h on highways where there is a normal speed limit of less than 79 km/h, when passing emergency or designated vehicles (tow trucks and vehicles used by government enforcement officers) stopped or working on the highway, with their beacons flashing. Where the normal speed limit is 80 km/h or more, the reduced speed limit would be 60 km/h.

The new rules would also authorize firefighters to control traffic during emergencies and at collision scenes when the police are not at the scene, or under the direction of a police officer.

— Staff