From September 1, if you see red and blue flashing lights on the side of the road you need to slow down to 40km/h.
The new road rule, being introduced for a 12-month trial, is a NSW-wide measure to improve the safety of emergency workers and road users when they’re stopped on the road.
The rules, released by Transport NSW, are:
• Slow down to 40km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles displaying red or blue flashing lights
• The rule applies to vehicles travelling in both directions, unless the road is divided by a median strip
• Motorists who ignore the speed limit will face penalties including a $448 fine and the loss of three demerit points.
The push for the limits started last year when Lucknow Rural Fire Service captain Mick Bloomfield asked the Member of Orange Phil Donato to push the issue after several safety incidents involving his crew.
“After multiple letters to ministers, three questions in parliament, a notice of motion and a petition with thousands of signatures circulating across the state I’m glad the NSW government has finally acted,” Mr Donato said.
He said motorists should treat the emergency zones the same as school zones.
The limits already apply in Victoria and South Australia.
NSW Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon said the trial would boost the safety of emergency workers and those they are protecting on the road side.
“The new road rule will provide extra protection for all emergency workers and volunteers who respond to crashes and other incidents on our roads,” Mr Carlon said.
“When you see the blue or red flashing lights on an emergency vehicle stopped on the road, safely reduce your speed so that you are not exceeding 40km/h when you pass. Keep to 40km/h until you’ve safely passed all people and emergency vehicles.
“We want to ensure that people protecting us on our road network don’t become casualties while doing their jobs. This rule will give extra protection and confidence that at the end of a shift they can go home safely to families and friends.”
Transport for NSW will monitor the safety and traffic impacts of the rule over the 12 month trial in consultation with NSW Police, emergency service organisations and other stakeholders.
Find out more by visiting roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au