Calls for slow down at emergency sites

The NSW Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) is pushing for a new road safety rule to protect emergency workers.

The new law would require drivers to slow to 40km an hour when passing an emergency vehicle in attendance at an incident. 

“One of the biggest safety factors faced by our members, and all emergency service workers, is road users who fail to slow down on approach to an emergency incident with due care and attention,” RFSA President Ken Middleton said. 

Political leaders from across the state have backed the campaign. Paul Green MLC from the Christian Democratic Party gave his support for the safety measure, during a meeting with RFSA President Ken Middleton, and CEO Bernard Cox at Parliament House recently. 

“The 40km an hour rule is already used across New South Wales to protect vulnerable road users, and reduce pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries, by extending it to our emergency services personnel we can give them the protection they deserve,” Mr Green said. 

“Clearly, emergency workers are vulnerable when they are responding to incidents, and doing their job. So, applying this limit to emergency vehicles with flashing lights, would mean a safer environment for emergency personnel and the public.”

The RFSA representatives have also met with Greens MLC David Shoebridge, who gave in principle support for the move, for the health and safety of the state’s emergency workers.

“It’s vital that our emergency services workers are safe when they are at work protecting communities across New South Wales. This safety measure can help deliver that outcome,” Mr Shoebridge said. 

RFSA President Ken Middleton said the organisation had been overwhelmed by the response it’s received since beginning the campaign for the 40km/h rule. 

“The RFSA has had recent discussions with government which have been encouraging.”

With further meetings over the next week we are hoping to confirm that there are no impediments to moving to implement this important change. 

“New South Wales already has a 40km/h limit for drivers going through school zones, or passing school buses,” he said.

Emergency workers are there to help and protect the community, the same safety limit should be applied for their protection.