Drivers will now face fines if they fail to slow down and move over when passing parked emergency vehicles, B.C.’s transportation and infrastructure minister said yesterday.

Kevin Falcon said that 21 emergency workers were injured or killed on B.C. roads between 2001 and 2007 — of those, 12 were killed at the roadside.

“Too often these workers face near-misses, injury or even death, directly due to the carelessness of passing drivers,” Falcon said.

Beginning June 1, drivers must slow to 70 km/h on highways where the speed limit is 80 km/h or higher, and to 40 km/h where the limit is below 80 km/h, when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle flashing its lights. If there is another lane going in the same direction, drivers must move into that lane if it is safe to do so.

Violators will lose three penalty points against their licence and be fined $148 if the amount is paid within 30 days, or $173 thereafter.

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