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The 40km/h Speed Limit When Passing Emergency Vehicles Is About To Change

40km/h Speed Limit When Passing Emergency Vehicles Is About To Change

Since its introduction, the rule requiring drivers to slow to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated has drawn significant criticism. Many have pointed to both the rule’s potential for creating dangerous situations in an effort to prevent them and the use of the “pop up” limit as a “speed trap”. There will be significant changes from 26 September 2019.

The rule was introduced in response to a tragic incident where two police officers were hit by a speeding driver while setting up an RBT. While well-intentioned, it lacks flexibility and applies to drivers travelling at 60km/h equally to those who unexpectedly need to drop from 110km/h to 40km/h in just a few seconds, regardless of the safety of doing so.

Under the new rule, drivers on roads with a speed limit of 80km/h or less, will still be required to slow to 40km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles displaying flashing lights. This has been expanded to include tow trucks and breakdown assistance vehicles.

On roads with a speed limit of 90km/h or more drivers will need to slow down safely to a speed that is reasonable in the circumstances.

If the road has multiple lanes, drivers will need to leave the lane closest to stationary vehicle, unless it is unsafe to do so. If the road has only one lane in each direction, drivers will need to move over within their lane as far as reasonably possible away from the emergency vehicle.

The rule will also require that drivers not increase their speed until they have covered sufficient distance past the emergency vehicle, so they do not cause a danger to any person in its vicinity.

The penalties will be a fine of $457 and 3 demerit points. If the matter is dealt with by a court the maximum fine will be $2,200.

Written by Aurhett Barrie on September 20, 2019

Aurhett is the first point of legal contact for clients of Armstrong Legal. He receives every new client with care, understanding and an open mind. He is dedicated to getting to the real issues involved in your matter before matching you with the best solicitor from our team of experienced lawyers. View Aurhett's profile

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