Queensland introduces a fine for not slowing down emergency vehicles

If you don’t pull over in Queensland and slow down for an emergency vehicle, you now face a fine.

The Department for Transport and Main Roads has announced the new Highway Code, which aims to ensure the safety of roadside first responders.

It will come into force on September 16, 2022.

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Failure to run over and slow will result in a $432 fine and three demerits, enforced by the Queensland Police Service.

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The new regulation applies to ambulances, police cars, fire engines and transport vehicles, as well as roadside assistance providers such as RACQ, tow trucks and support vehicles.

It was introduced after consultation with the RACQ.

“Our Ambulance and First Responders do an incredible job and play a vital role in traffic accidents,” said Mark Bailey, Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads.

“The rule is simple: if you see flashing lights on the side of the road, pull over and slow down.

“We know many people are already doing this, but this change makes it clear that you must do it to protect the people helping with an incident from harm.”

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“We’ve been campaigning for this change since 2017, with 90 per cent of our members supporting making this life-saving traffic rule a reality, so we’re incredibly pleased that the government is taking action,” said Glenn Toms, RACQ Group Executive – Assistance.

“Responders, including our road crews, put their lives on the line every day working in high-risk, often high-speed environments to rescue stranded motorists, but one wrong move by a passing driver could result in tragedy.

“This new rule will require Queenslanders to change the way they drive around in traffic accidents to give responders a safe space to do their jobs – so they can continue to help and ensure the people they are tasked with protecting that everyone gets home safely.”

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Other states have similar rules.

For example, in Victoria you must slow to a minimum of 40km/h when passing a police, emergency or escort vehicle that is stationary or moving at less than 10km/h.

This includes vehicles with red and blue flashing lights, as well as those with magenta flashing lights — examples of the latter include National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) safety and compliance officers.

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Once you are a safe distance from the vehicle and rescue personnel, you can return to the regular speed limit. Note that you do not have to slow down if you are on the opposite side of a median from the vehicle in question.

The fine in Victoria is $272.05 but no penalties.

In Western Australia the penalty is US$300 and three minus points, while in South Australia you have to brake to an even lower speed of 25km/h or pay a fine that varies by speed.

New South Wales also introduced a similar slowdown rule, but changed it at the end of a trial period.

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When driving in NSW you no longer have to brake to 40km/h when you are on a road with a speed limit of more than 80km/h, although you still have to brake to such a speed ‘reasonable under the circumstances’ .

You must also ensure that there is sufficient space between your vehicle and the stationary towing, roadside assistance or emergency vehicle.

Failure to slow down on any of these vehicles will result in a $469 fine and three minus points.

Tasmania also adjusted its rule this month, requiring you to slow down for all vehicles with yellow, red, blue or magenta lights, but not requiring you to slow down to 40 km/h on roads at 80 km/h or more if this is uncertain.

https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/motoring/queensland-introduces-fine-for-not-slowing-for-emergency-vehicles-c-8014064 Queensland introduces a fine for not slowing down emergency vehicles

James Brien

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