The new road rule you need to be aware of
Motorists are now required to slow down to 40km/h when police, ambulance or other emergency service vehicles pass under a NSW state government “flashing light” trial.
Under the trial, drivers will have to give way to any person on foot near an emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, and not increase speed until “a sufficient distance past”, reports The Sunday Telegraph.
Motorists who disobey the new regulation will face a $439 fine and the loss of three demerit points, or a maximum court penalty of $2200.
The move follows ongoing pleas from emergency service workers who want similar laws to those recently introduced in Victoria and South Australia.
The new slowdown rule will only apply to emergency service vehicles with red and blue flashing lights, not yellow. Motorises will be required to slow down “in a controlled manner” on the approach.
It will not apply to motorists on the opposite side of a divided road separated by a median strip.
The NSW government is introducing the new regulation as part of a 12-month trial starting on September 1.
Roads Minister Melinda Pavey said the trial was introduced to ensure motorists were well-informed by the time the regulation came into force.
“The new rule will begin as a 12 month trial from 1 September 2018 following a comprehensive public education campaign,” Ms Pavey said.
Police and Emergency Services Troy Grant said proposed regulation would provide extra protection for emergency workers.
“Our emergency service workers and volunteers are out there every day, often putting themselves in harm’s way to protect us and keep us safe on the roads,” he said.
“Our police, fire fighters, ambulance officers, State Emergency Service and rescue volunteers do difficult and dangerous work with little or no fanfare.
“These new measures will help ensure the safety of our dedicated emergency service personnel.”