Slow down for blue or red flashing lights from 1 September

Published

Motorists are being reminded a new road rule starts on 1 September, which is designed to improve safety around emergency personnel when their vehicle is stopped on the road and displaying red or blue flashing lights.

KEY POINTS:

  • The new road rule commences 1 September 2018 on a trial basis for 12 months
  • It requires motorists to 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 new speed limit will face stiff penalties, including a $448 fine and the loss of three demerit points

Bernard Carlon, Executive Director of the Centre for Road Safety said the new rule begins on Saturday 1 September and means drivers have to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles showing blue or red lights while stopped on the road.

“From Saturday, if you’re driving and see the blue or red flashing lights on an emergency vehicle stopped on the road, you’ll need to safely reduce your speed so that you are not exceeding 40km/h when you pass the emergency vehicle.

“You will also need to keep to 40km/h until you’ve safely passed all people and emergency vehicles, and give way to any pedestrians in the vicinity of the vehicle.

“We want to make sure the people protecting us on our road network don’t become casualties while doing their jobs,” Mr Carlon said.

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons welcomed the new laws saying that increased protection for emergency service workers whilst attending emergency incidents can only be beneficial.

“These laws are focused on the safety of our members, members who are providing emergency assistance to the community in their time of need.”

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.

A public education campaign to raise awareness of the rule continues to roll out across NSW.

Find out more by visiting roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au