From 1 September 2018, drivers in New South Wales could face a fine of $448.00 and three (3) demerit points for exceeding the speed limit of 40 kilometres per hour whenever they pass an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road and flashing their blue and red lights. Drivers will also have to give way to any person who is on foot near the area of the emergency vehicle which is flashing their lights and to not increase their speed until they are safely past the area.
This rule applies to drivers passing near the area of a stationary emergency vehicle flashing their lights in both directions UNLESS the emergency vehicle is on the other side of the road and is separated by a median strip. However, if the emergency vehicle is on the median strip then the rule will continue to apply to drivers travelling in both directions. It applies to all roads including motorways, highways and freeways. The new rule will be in place for a trail period of 12 months to evaluate the safety and traffic impacts and any other consequences there may be for having the new rule.
Driving 40 kilometres per hour near stationary emergency vehicles is being introduced to improve the safety of police and emergency workers as well as those people emergency services seek to help. It also provides drivers with greater direction as to how they should approach a situation when they see the flashing lights. Transport for New South Wales, Centre for Road Safety, said motorists should always start slowing down in a controlled manner as soon as they see blue or red flashing lights, taking into account the road conditions at the time and other road users.
Emergency service vehicles covered by the new rule are:
- NSW Police Force Vehicles
- Ambulance Service of NSW vehicles
- Fire & Rescue NSW vehicles
- State Emergency Services vehicles
- Rural Fire Service vehicles
- Volunteer Rescue Association vehicles
- Traffic Emergency Response vehicles
If you require any further information or need assistance in determining your options after receiving a fine, please Contact Coutts today.