Go-slow zones now to be introduced when there is an emergency scene


How often do you drive through a school zone and brake to ensure you don’t break the 40kmph speed limit? Well now the brakes will be on again as from September 2018, a new Road law will apply in NSW which will force drivers to slow down to 40kmph when police, ambulance, fire, SES or rescue vehicles are stopped and have their red or blue lights flashing.

Harsh financial penalties of a $448 fine and three demerit points will occur for not slowing down near or in the vicinity of all stationary emergency vehicles with flashing lights.

Bernard Carlon, head of the NSW Centre for Road Safety is quoted as saying.

“The new road rule will provide extra protection for all emergency workers and volunteers who respond to crashes and other incidents on our roads,”

The change brings NSW in line with Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, where drivers face the loss of three demerit points. The fine however is much lower in these states with a $300 fine applying for failing to comply.

The rule applies to motorists travelling in either direction unless the lanes are divided by a median strip.

One thing which is not clear however is how the new speed limit will be enforced. A pertinent question as such is if the police can be free to enforce the new sped limits, book people and give/write out tickets who will be looking after the said emergency.

These and other criticisms including the NSW fine being $148 higher than the other states has re-raised the old issue as to if the new laws are for road safety or simply NSW revenue raising. Perhaps for this reason the program initially will be on a one-year trial basis, with it being reviewed in September 2019.

Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia have a similar rule in place — SA requires motorists to slow to 25km/h. To date, Queensland has rejected calls for a similar road rule.

Emergency Services have long been campaigning for the change and were pleased that the announcement was made on Monday by Police and Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant.

Other recent new amendments to the law in NSW which are being rolled out relate to the use of camera-based technology to catch mobile phone offences. Currently unrestricted licence holders can only make or receive calls or play music if this does not involve touching the phone or if the phone is in a cradle fixed to the vehicle. Heavy penalties, including double demerits, apply.

If you have been charged with any driving offence our Team and National Criminal Lawyers are well versed and specialists in having charges either withdrawn and otherwise achieving favourable outcomes. Please contact our office on 02 9893 1889 or visit www.nationalcriminallawyers.com.aufor more information about your options.

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