Slowing Down, Giving Space To Emergency Vehicles On NSW Roads
A recent change to road rules in NSW by the NSW government has changed how NSW road users must act when passing vehicles displaying flashing lights on the side of the road, such as emergency vehicles (police, ambulances, fire brigade, tow truck/breakdown assistance vehicles).
Now, when passing these stationary vehicles, drivers must slow down and move to an adjacent lane, if possible, to provide them with more space and to help prevent accidents.
In this article, the team at LTrent Driving School will take a look at this change to the road rules, its history, and what it means for NSW drivers. Let’s get started.
A Brief History Of This New Change To The Road Rules
This road rule began with a 12-month trial, which began in September 2018. The original incarnation of the law required road users to slow down to 40 km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles – no matter what the speed limit of the road was.
However, this raised concerns among motorists, who were concerned about the risks of slowing down so quickly on a high-speed road – such as a highway with a 110 km/h speed limit. For this reason, some modifications were made to the law after the initial trial period was concluded.
Drivers Are Required To Slow Down When Next To Emergency Vehicles In NSW
The final version of this change to the NSW road rules – which was enacted in September 2019 – requires motorists to slow down to 40 km/h when driving alongside stationary emergency vehicles on roads with speed limits of 80 km/h or under.
When driving on roads with speed limits of 90 km/h or over, drivers do not have to slow down to 40 km/h. Instead, they are required to slow down safely to a “speed that is reasonable for the circumstances.”
Drivers Must Change Lanes On Multi-Lane Roads If It Is Safe To Do So
This new law also requires motorists to maintain space between their vehicles and stationary emergency vehicles if it is safe to do so. For example, in a multi-lane road, drivers must move to the lane that is further away from the stopped vehicle, if it is safe and possible to do so.
This provides emergency services vehicles with more space, and decreases the risk of accidents. Note that neither of these rules is applicable if the emergency vehicle, tow truck or breakdown assistance vehicle is on the opposite side of a road that is divided by a median strip.
Make Sure To Take This New Rule Into Effect – Avoid Fines & Penalties!
According to NSW police, motorists who do not follow these rules will get 3 demerit points on their licence, and be fined $457. To avoid this, drivers must make sure that they take this law into account, and respond appropriately.
Want to learn more about NSW road laws? Whether you’re a learner driver or you already have your P1 or P2 licence, LTrent Driving School is here to help. We’re one of the leading driving schools in NSW, and we can help you learn everything you need to know about NSW road rules. Contact us on 02 8748 4500 or book now through the link below.
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