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RFSA urges NSW to adopt new Road Rules to protect Emergency Workers.

Tuesday, 04 July 2017

Australia’s emergency workers know the horrifying realities of the road toll all too well, as they respond to serious accidents on a daily basis.

All are committed to bringing down the road toll and any rules, and measures, which increase safety for drivers.

In New South Wales, I believe more needs to be done to protect emergency workers on the road – specifically - a new law that requires drivers to slow to 40 kilometres an hour when passing a stationary, or slow moving, emergency vehicle with flashing lights or sirens. Drivers should only increase their speed again, when reaching a safe distance from the scene. 

This would be consistent with steps Victoria and South Australia have taken to protect emergency service workers.

It is the same law we use in other areas of the community where vulnerable road users are present, like school zones, school buses and roadwork sites.

As the representative Association of the 74,000 members of the NSW Rural Fire Service, I believe this measure is vital in protecting NSW RFS members, and all emergency services workers.

In fact, given the frequency of interstate fire-fighting arrangements during major emergencies, consistent road rules nationally would be logical in minimising accidents and protecting the safety of emergency service workers, protecting the community, right across the nation. It would also assist drivers when travelling interstate.  

The safety of our members is paramount, and the RFSA will continue to lobby and work with Government in advocating the adoption of a 40km per hour speed limit as a means to safeguard the safety of the people, who protect and safeguard the community



Ken Middleton

RFSA President