Emergency services have urged the government to implement new laws to make the roads safer for their workers.
The NSW Rural Fire Service Association’s president, Ken Middleton, has been urging the state government to implement 40km/h speed limits at emergency scenes. as part of their Protect the Protector campaign.
Labour has signaled its intention to introduce so-called Slow Down, Move Over (SLOMO) legislation that will require drivers to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles that have slowed down or stopped.
“Our members have become concerned that working on and adjacent to roads, they have been subject to near misses,” Mr Middleton said.
“We have seen evidence of accidents where vehicles have run up the back of emergency vehicles parked on the side.”
Mr Middleton has suggested a similar approach to driving through amber lights be taken. If a driver comes cross a scene with emergency vehicles they must slow down unless it is unsafe to do so, such as if you have a heavy vehicle tailgating you.
The laws are currently in place in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia.
NSW are looking to implement the model from Western Australia. This will see drivers who don't slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles with flashing lights face a $300 fine and the loss of three demerit points.
The Police Association president Scott Weber said the government needs to get on board and enact the legislation.
“Just a financial punitive measure doesn’t go far enough,” he said.
“If you continue to do it, it can take away your license.”