‘Highly dangerous’ new road rule dropped

David McCowen

Controversial road rules requiring motorists to slow dramatically when passing emergency vehicles have been amended in NSW.

The State Government implemented a trial requiring people to slow to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles with flashing lights in September 2018.

From September 26, motorists on roads with a signposted limit of 90km/h or more need to reduce their speed to a level “reasonable for the circumstances”. The rule has also been expanded to include tow trucks and roadside assistance vehicles.

Drivers still need to slow to 40km/h on roads with a speed limit or 80km/h or less. But they can maintain their speed if the hazard is on the other side of the road and traffic is separated by a median strip or physical barrier.

Guidelines released by NSW RMS say “motorists must also provide sufficient space between their vehicle and the stationary tow truck, breakdown assistance or emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights. This will include changing lanes on a multi-lane road if it is safe to do so”.

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