A new road rule will commence from September 1 for all motorists to slow down to 40km/h when passing a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing red or blue lights.
The campaign aims to ensure the safety of all emergency services personnel when working on or near a roadway, often around moving traffic.
On-call firefighter Ashley Mackie who works with Station 387 Mudgee said it was a good initiative and reduced the risk of an incident involving an emergency worker.
“As I’m sure you can imagine working so close to moving traffic at an incident, poses a great risk to the emergency services personnel conducting their work,” he said.
The new rule applies to all roads in NSW and vehicles travelling in both directions, unless the road is divided by a median strip.
However if an emergency vehicle was on a median strip, drivers heading in both directions would need to reduce speed to 40km/h.
Emergency services motorists need to slow down for include Police, Ambulance Services, Fire and Rescue, SES, Rural Fire Service, Volunteer Rescue, Transport Emergency Response and, RMS and Traffic Management vehicles.
Motorists may increase speed after a sufficient distance past an emergency vehicle.
This is to prevent causing danger to themselves, emergency personnel and vehicles.
Mr Mackie warned if motorists refused to comply with the new road rule a fine of $448 and three demerit points would apply with a maximum court penalty of $2200.
He urged people in the community to help prevent hefty fines and possible incidents by simply slowing down.
“The message we’re trying to get out to everyone is ‘help protect us on the road while we work to protect you’,” he said.
This new initiative will run for a 12-month trial period and an evaluation of safety impacts and consequences will be discussed at the conclusion.