New rules to protect roadside emergency workers in NSW

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Photo: SafetyCulture Library

The NSW Government is to introduce a new road rule requiring motorists to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency service workers and volunteers on the roadside.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Troy Grant said the 40km/hr rule will provide extra protection for NSW emergency service personnel who put their lives on the line.

“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,” Mr. Grant said.

“Our police, firefighters, 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.”

Minister for Roads, Maritime, and Freight Melinda Pavey said the new rule will strengthen current laws and require motorists to slow down to 40km/hr when an emergency vehicle is stopped and has its red or blue lights flashing on all roads.

“The new rule will begin as a 12 month trial from 1 September 2018 following a comprehensive public education campaign,” said Mrs. Pavey.

These rules will give all emergency workers extra protection, and confidence that they can go to work and at the end of their shift, get home safely to their families.

The NSW Government will monitor the safety and traffic impacts of the rule over the 12-month period in consultation with NSW Police, emergency service organisations as well as stakeholder groups.

Other states including Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria already have similar laws.

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