NSW drivers are now required to slow down to at least 40km/h and prepare to stop for an emergency vehicle with its lights or sirens on.
A new law comes into effect on September 1 to protect emergency workers as they attend to road and traffic incidents, such as an ambulance travelling down the road or a highway patrol car which has stopped a speeding driver.
The changes come after a police officer was struck by traffic during a routine RBT in Western Sydney. The officer’s foot had to be amputated after being crushed by a van which was reportedly travelling at 60 km/h at the time of impact in February.
Other states have already taken these precautions on board. Victoria introduced similar laws in 2017, along with a fine up to $700 for not slowing down.
In South Australia, the speed limit for passing emergency services is even slower at 25 km/h which has been in place since 2014.
The same law came into effect in both QLD and WA earlier this year with Western Australia introducing the SLOMO campaign warning motorists they will lose 3 demerit points and be given a $300 fine for not slowing down and moving over for emergency vehicles.
The NSW Government will monitor the safety and traffic impacts of the new rule over a 12-month trial period alongside the NSW Police, emergency service organisations and other stakeholders.