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The NRMA is campaigning to have the new road rule in the ACT and NSW limiting speeds when passing emergency vehicles to 40 km/h extended to cover passing emergency breakdown vehicles (as already happens in Western Australia).

This is what the NRMA has to say:

New Slow Down, Move Over policy needs immediate rethink



A new law that requires drivers to slow down to 40km/hr per hour when passing emergency services has been criticised by the NRMA and the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group for failing to protect roadside assistance and tow-truck operators.

In 2012, NRMA Contractor Geoffrey Clark and 23-year old Member Sarah Frazer were killed in the breakdown lane of the Hume Highway. This tragic loss of life culminated in a collective of groups coming together to promote road safety near breakdowns.

After years of lobbying by the NRMA and SARAH Group president Peter Frazer, the NSW and ACT Governments responded with laws that require drivers to slow down to 40 km/hr when passing emergency services with blue and red flashing lights. This approach does not protect breakdown responders as consequently the 2.4 million NRMA Members who may need roadside assistance.

The new road rule came into effect on 1 September, and will be trialled over a 12 month period. Drivers who fail to comply face a $448 fine and three demerit points.

A similar road rule introduced in Western Australia in March includes roadside assist and tow-truck operators.

NRMA Road Safety Expert Dimitra Vlahomitros called on the NSW Government to extend the law to cover all roadside assist and tow-truck operators.

"These policies need to provide the same level of protection to those men and women who rush to help people broken down every day - both Governments need to make this change immediately," Ms Vlahomitros said.

"The day Sarah and Geoff lost their lives was horrific for the Frazer and Clark families and all NRMA staff. We do not ever want to experience what we went through on 15 February 2012.

"Breakdown rescues are dangerous work and the NSW and ACT Governments need to change their approach. The colour of your lights shouldn't matter here, motorists can tell the difference between the NRMA and a Mr Whippy van."

SARAH President Peter Frazer and the NSW Opposition have called on the Government to amend its policy.

"In May 2012 we delivered a 23,000 petition to the NSW Government that called for a 'slow down move over' law to protect Police, Emergency Services, Roadside Assistance and Tow Truck drivers," said Mr Frazer.

"If the Government is listening to the community, why would they deliberately act to exclude those NRMA patrols and tow truck operators who are out there in harm's way 24/7? They deserve to get home to their loved ones safely too."

(https://www.mynrma.com.au/community...=digital&utm_campaign=mature_edm_oct_18_rural)
 
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