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40km/h Around Stopped Emergency Vehicles

Source: Service NSW
Posted: 1 Sep 2018
If there is a median strip between your vehicle and the stationary emergency vehicle you will not need to slow down.
From 1 September 2018, a new road rule will commence to improve the safety of emergency workers when they are stopped on the road.

The new rule requires motorists to slow down to 40km/h when passing a stationary emergency vehicle displaying blue or red flashing lights.

The new rule also requires motorists to give way to any person on foot in the immediate area of the emergency vehicle. Motorists should not increase their speed until they are a safe distance past the vehicle, so as not to cause a danger to anyone in the vicinity.

The new rule applies to all roads, including motorways, highways and freeways. If there is a median strip between your vehicle and the stationary emergency vehicle you will not need to slow down. If the emergency vehicle is on the median strip then the rule will apply to vehicles on both sides of the road.

A median strip is an area or structure that separates vehicles travelling in opposite directions. A median strip can be covered in grass, it can include or be a wire rope or concrete barrier or be a continuous painted island filled with diagonal bars. A median strip does not include double white lines, a single white line or a broken white line on its own or in combination with a continuous white line. It also does not include wide centre lines or short painted islands typically found as part of intersection turning lanes.

The NSW Government will monitor the safety and traffic impacts of the rule over a 12-month trial period in consultation with NSW Police, emergency service organisations and other stakeholders.

You can find more information in the Slow Down for Flashing Lights FAQs.

Key Messages of the Campaign

  • For everyone's safety, motorists must slow down to 40km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles displaying blue or red flashing lights
  • The rule applies to vehicles travelling in both directions, unless the road is divided by a median strip
  • Motorists who do not comply with the rule will face a $448 fine and three demerit points.

Police, firefighters, ambulance officers, State Emergency Service and rescue volunteers perform difficult and dangerous work for the community. But just like everyone doing their job, they should feel safe and know that they are protected at work.

A median strip does not include wide centre lines or short painted islands typically found as part of intersection turning lanes.
A median strip does not include double white lines.
If there is a median strip between your vehicle and the stationary emergency vehicle you will not need to slow down.
 
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