Prince George RCMP are reminding drivers to "slow down and move over" when approaching and passing emergency vehicles.
Failing to do so can result in a $173 fine and three penalty points as a result of legislation that came into effect in B.C. in 2009. Criminal charges could also be in store for serious incidents.
Earlier this month, a Quebec police officer was killed when struck by a passing car while walking back to his police cruiser during a roadside radar operation.
"It would be difficult to find a member of an emergency service that has not experienced a 'near miss' while working on our roads," said Cst. Wayne Connell of the Prince George RCMP's municipal traffic section. "We must remind the public that we need protecting too."
The legislation, dubbed the "slow down and move over" law, requires drivers to decrease their speed when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle when it is on or beside a roadway and has its lights flashing.
Drivers must slow down to 70 km/h where speed limit is 80 km/h or more and to 40 km/h where speed limit is less than 80 km/h.
Further, if there are two lanes going in the same direction, drivers must move into the inside lane to pass if it is safe to do so and a police officer has not directed them to do otherwise.
The law applies to drivers encountering the red, blue, amber or white lights of all types of emergency personnel, including ambulance and firefighters, not just police.
Since 2001, more than 40 emergency workers have been killed or seriously injured while helping people on B.C. roads, according to RCMP.