The road rule requiring drivers to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles is being changed following extensive criticism from the community.
The controversial rule imposed $457 fines for drivers caught in contravention.
From 26 September 2019, motorists travelling on ‘high speed’ roads will not be required to reduce their speed to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles. High speed roads are defined as roads which have a speed limit of 90km/h and above.
Instead, drivers on these roads will be required to ‘slow down safely to a speed that is reasonable in the circumstances’.
Motorists will also be tasked with proving that they have left ‘sufficient space’ between their vehicle and the emergency vehicle. The Centre for Road Safety has outlined that ‘this will include changing lanes on a multi-lane road if it is safe to do so’.
When do you have to slow down?
Drivers are required to slow down if the following vehicles are stationary and flashing blue or red lights:
- NSW Police Force vehicles
- Ambulance Service of NSW vehicles
- Fire & Rescue NSW vehicles
- State Emergency Service vehicles
- Rural Fire Service vehicles
- Volunteer Rescue Association vehicles
- Transport Emergency Patrol vehicles
- RMS and Traffic Management Centre (TMC) Commander vehicles
You are also required to slow down when passing stationary tow trucks or breakdown assistance vehicles if they are flashing yellow lights.
Does it apply to all roads?
In short, yes.
However, drivers will be exempt from the rule if they are travelling on the opposite side of the road, and the road is separated by a median strip.
What’s the penalty?
Drivers caught disobeying this road rule will face a fine of $457. However, if the matter is unsuccessfully contested in court, drivers could face a maximum penalty of $2,200.
Drivers will also incur 3 demerit points.
Charged with a traffic offence?
Our lawyers are highly experienced in defending traffic matters. If you need advice or representation for a traffic matter, contact Hamilton Janke Lawyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 4038 1666.