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RFSA urges Premier to intervene on road safety for Emergency Services

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) is extremely disappointed that key Roads and Maritime departmental officials withdrew from important discussions on road safety for emergency workers.

RFSA representatives from all over NSW had been scheduled to meet with the officials over the weekend.

The RFSA has been campaigning for the introduction of a new law requiring drivers to slow down to 40 kilometres an hour when passing an emergency services vehicle with flashing lights, similar to legislation introduced in other states.

“This is an extremely important issue to our members – who risk their lives, along with all emergency service workers, when they work along our roads,” RFSA President, Ken Middleton said.

“The RMS through the Minister for Roads and Maritime had agreed to meet with our State Council on 17 February 2018, however we were informed late last week that they were withdrawing from the discussion.

“This is deeply concerning and shows disrespect towards the concerns of emergency workers.

“We have now written to Premier Berejiklian to express our disappointment and have requested an urgent meeting to discuss our concerns for the safety of the state’s emergency workers.

“Over the weekend, there have been renewed calls for this law after the terrible incident at Leumeah where two police officers were struck by a car and suffered horrific injuries, while setting up for a roadside RBT.

“It has been recognized that action needs to be taken to improve safety on NSW roads and clearly action also needs to be taken to protect emergency services workers and now is the time to act. Laws are already in place in NSW to protect other vulnerable road users with a 40kpm limit for drivers when traveling through school zones and road work sites.”