A new road law will come into play in Queensland from next month, aimed at helping to ensure the safety of emergency roadside workers.
From September 16, 2022, those who fail to move over and slow down when passing emergency roadside workers could be slapped with a $431 fine and three demerit points.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said the rules are aimed at keeping first responders safe on the roadside.
“Our emergency service and first responders do an incredible job, and they play a critical role in roadside incidents,” Bailey said.
“The rule is simple – if you see flashing lights at the roadside, move over and slow down.
“We know many people already do it, but this change makes it clear that you must do it to keep the people helping in an incident safe from harm.”
The new rule applies to ambulances, police cars, fire trucks, and transport enforcement vehicles, as well as breakdown assistance providers such as RACQ, tow trucks and assistance vehicles.
Bailey extended his thanks to RACQ for their role in creating awareness of the need for this rule.
“RACQ has worked alongside the Queensland government to advocate for this change,” he said.
According to RACQ, its roadside officers, along with emergency service personnel, are frequently involved in near misses – and in some cases have even been struck, while doing their job.
“We have been advocating for this change since 2017, with 90 per cent of our members in favour of making this lifesaving road rule a reality, so we are incredibly pleased the government is taking action,” said RACQ group executive – assistance, Glenn Toms.
“Emergency responders, including our roadside crews, put their lives on the line every day by working in high-risk and often high-speed environments to rescue stranded motorists, but one wrong move by a passing driver could end in tragedy.
“This new rule will require Queenslanders to change the way they drive around roadside incidents to give responders a safe space to do their job, so they can continue to help the people they’re there to protect, and ensure everyone gets home safely.”