Last Thursday the rule regarding slowing down to 40km/hr when passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road was changed.
What Is the ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ Rule?
First introduced in September 2018, the ‘slow down, move over’ road rule required drivers to slow down to 40km/hr when passing emergency vehicles pulled over to the side of the road that have their lights flashing.
Since the 26 of September 2019, this rule also applies to motor breakdown service vehicles like the NRMA, and tow trucks. However, the new law will not apply to roads with a speed limit over 90km/hr. The new law will instead require drivers to slow down to a ‘reasonable speed’.
The regulations also require drivers to give way to any pedestrians involved with the accident or emergency. For example, if an ambulance or police car is parked with lights flashing, but paramedics or police are dealing with an incident further up the road, the driver must give way to these pedestrians and not accelerate until they have fully passed all emergency staff.
It is important to note that these rules don’t apply if emergency vehicles are on the other side of the road to the driver and there is a median strip in the middle of the road.
What Are the Penalties?
If a motorist fails to follow this road rule, they can lose three demerit points and be fined up to $457. If the matter goes to court, a maximum penalty of $2,200 applies. During its trial, 926 infringement notices were issued by police to motorists failing to abide by the law.
When you see emergency vehicles pulled over with their lights flashing and you are within a speed limit of less than 90km/hr, make sure you slow down to 40km/hr. These keeps emergency workers safe while they do their jobs and ensures that you won’t risk a fine and demerit points.
If you have any questions regarding traffic matters, demerit points or new road rules contact us today.