NSW's Controversial Emergency Vehicle Slowdown Rule Is Changing

From September 26th.

Article heading image for NSW's Controversial Emergency Vehicle Slowdown Rule Is Changing

The controversial new road rule that requires drivers to slow down to 40km/h around emergency vehicles is being updated, the NSW Police has confirmed.

From September 26, motorists will no longer have to slow down when passing police, ambulance and fire services with flashing lights if on a road with a posted speed limit above 90km/h.

Under the new law, drivers will still be expected to drop to a "safe and reasonable speed" and allow "sufficient space", changing lanes "to keep the lane next to the vehicle free if it is safe to do so".

On roads with posted speed limits below 80km/h, motorists will still be required to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles.

The expanded law also now includes tow trucks and breakdown assistance vehicles with yellow flashing lights.


The update comes after months of lobbying and debate around how safe the law actually was, with many arguing that slowing down from a high speed caused more accidents, and endangered motorists.

"These changes are about slowing down safely," Paul Toole, NSW Minister for Rural Roads, said.

"If you are driving on roads 90km/h or over you will need to consider how close you are to the stationary vehicle and low to a safer speed and give as much space to the vehicle as you can."

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