Keeping First Responders safe

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For the most part, those travelling by East Hants moved over during this demonstration Aug. 17

ENFIELD: With two major highways—Highway 102 and Highway 101—crossing their boundaries, members of East Hants RCMP in Enfield and Mount Uniacke respond to calls on both quite often.

Sometimes that can lead to cause for concern for members as they try to attend to scenes with traffic whizzing by at more than the posted speed limit and quite close.

The safety of first responders—firefighters; paramedics; and police—are why the Move Over Law became legislation in the province.

However, there still seem to be some who don’t know about it or do know but just ignore it when out and about, putting the responders trying to help those in needs lives in danger.

On a nice sunny August day, Sgt. Bridgit Leger from the Enfield detachment of East Hants RCMP does a mock demonstration on Highway 102 near the overpass by the Enfield Legion. Here, reporter Pat Healey appears to be pulled over by Sgt. Leger who has her emergency lights on parked just out on the travel portion of the busy highway on this Friday afternoon, Aug. 17.

A line of traffic is shown moving over to the left lane and slowing down making it safe for first responders, like police officers, to work as part of a mock Move Over Law demonstration on Highway 102 in Enfield on Aug. 17.

Both Sgt. Leger and Healey are inside the cruiser as cars whiz by, and surprisingly many actually are slowing down or at the very least moving over if it is safe to do so, as the Move Over Law says to. After a short time in the car, the two get out and watch the traffic go by. The traffic all cooperated as they moved over getting in a single line, making it safe if it was a real scene or traffic stop.

“Our police officers and first responders are out doing their best to keep our communities safe, it’s important they’re safe while out doing their job,” said Sgt. Leger, as she glances in her rear-view mirror at the traffic passing by. “One of the ways the people of East Hants can do that is by moving over to the lane furthest to the left and slowing down so that first responders can remain safe when they’re on the side of the highway.

“We all want our members coming home safe at the end of the day.”

The point of the demonstration on this day was not to provide enforcement, but give a perspective of what officers with East Hants RCMP—and other detachments across the province—face as they deal with incidents on major highways.

Sgt. Leger did want to give a heads up to motorists in East Hants and those that make it a transient thoroughfare that they will be doing targeted Move Over Law enforcement in the coming weeks.

What would be the best outcome for that enforcement?

“I’d be very happy if I went out and found that there was no enforcement action needed to be taken because everybody was abiding by the Move Over Law legislation,” said Sgt. Leger smiling.

East Hants, let’s do our best to make that happen and keep our first responders safe!

Main photo: Sgt. Bridgit Leger with East Hants RCMP is shown by a car she stopped during a mock traffic stop along a busy Highway 102 in Enfield. The stop was part of a Move Over Law legislation demonstration showing what members deal with and why it’s important motorists obey and know about the Mover Over Law. (Healey photos)