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NSW falls behind on Road Safety as WA introduces new 40km law to protect Emergency Workers

Saturday, 03 March 2018

The NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) is calling on the New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to urgently address a key road safety issue impacting emergency services.


RFSA President, Ken Middleton said “New South Wales can’t afford to wait any longer and risk further tragedy - we need a new safety law requiring drivers to slow to 40 kilometres an hour when passing emergency services.


“We saw a terrible accident in Leumeah last month that left two police officers severely injured. Every day, emergency workers across the state face huge risks working along the roadside. 


“We need urgent action to protect emergency workers. Action like that taken by WA, which has followed the introduction of similar laws in Victoria and South Australia.


“Western Australia announced they were introducing laws to protect emergency workers on December 31, 2017 and they came into effect on 2 March 2018, only a couple of months later.


“The message from the WA Government is clear and correct: we must look after those who look after us.


“The WA Slow Down, Move Over (SLOMO) laws see penalties of a $300 fine and the loss of 3 demerit points for drivers who don’t slow down to 40 kilometres an hour when passing incident response vehicles under flashing lights.


“The RFSA has been campaigning for a new 40 kilometre per hour law for quite some time. I appreciate the fact that the Premier has listened to our concerns and set up a working group to look at the legislation.


“However I am extremely disappointed that a planned meeting of that working group which was due to meet on Friday, 2 March, was postponed.


“This should be an extremely straightforward process – these laws protect emergency services, make our roads safer and are already in force across half of the country.


“Governments in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria have acted quickly to protect the protectors – and I’m urging the Premier to recognise the clear need to do the same here in New South Wales."