New laws which will take effect from March 2018 aims to provide a safer environment for workers who respond to road incidents in Western Australia.
The SLOMO law or Slow Down, Move Over law will require drivers to reduce speed when approaching a stationary emergency or incident response vehicle and pass at a maximum speed of 40kmh.
The law also requires the driver to mover or change lanes where possible and if safe to do so. The penalty for failing to observe the new law is $300 and three demerit points.
Incident response vehicles include those used by WA Police Force; Department of Fire and Emergency Services; St John Ambulance; Main Roads WA Incident Response Service; RAC WA; and tow trucks intended to be used to salvage or tow a vehicle.
According to government data, there were 43 casualties involving people in emergency lanes and those working on the roadside from 2012 to 2016.
“The roadside can be a dangerous place for our emergency responders who are often risking their lives to help others.,” said Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts.
“This is the fulfillment of an election commitment – one we made to protect our emergency workers and breakdown response workers.
“The tragic death of a tow truck driver in 2013 and the fact there have been 43 casualties in the past five years shows this law is needed.
“The introduction of these laws will save further roadside tragedies.”
Other states in the country including Victoria and South Australia already have similar laws.
The introduction of SLOMO will be monitored and evaluated by the Road Safety Commission.