Joanita Wibowo

Call to change controversial road rule with $448 fine

Call to change controversial road rule with $448 fine

Motorists and authorities are rallying against the rule for drivers to slow down to 40km/h around emergency vehicles.

The Slow Down, Move Over legislation was introduced on September 1 for a 12-month trial period in New South Wales.

The state government said the policy – which requires drivers to reduce their speed when passing a stationary police car, ambulance or fire truck displaying blue or red flashing lights – is aimed at improving the safety of emergency workers.

However, many drivers believe the rule could lead to more accidents, especially in areas with high speed limits.

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury called for the “flawed” rule to be abolished. 

“It defies the laws of physics to go from 110 (km/h) to 40 (km/h) within a couple of metres,” Khoury told The Daily Telegraph.

“They need to introduce sensible measures to keep people who work on the side of the road safe.”

The Police Association of NSW (PANSW) also has some concerns over the legislation.

“Police have had some serious concerns about the 40km/h zone which was introduced by the NSW Government,” said PANSW president Tony King, citing some issues occurring on major arterial roads that have emerged from the rule.

Drivers failing to comply may be charged a $448 fine and three demerit points. However, King said the police do not want the legislation to be used as a “speed trap”.

“The [PANSW] would be happy to see some sensible amendments to the current laws that would better balance the safety of our members through reduced speed and the creation of a safe working space, and the safety of all road users through a reasonable speed as opposed to a prescribed speed,” said King.

“We need to ensure that sensible rules are put in place to make sure that everyone is as safe as possible on and around our roads.”

Last year, the NRMA also called for the law to be in line with the one applied in Western Australia, which require motorists to slow down for tow trucks and NRMA-equivalent vehicles as well.

The Slow Down, Move Over rule is also in place in Victoria and South Australia.

What do you think about the new 40km/h road rule for passing emergency vehicles? Tell us in the comments below.