Beginning September 1, New South Wales motorists will be required to slow down to 40 km/h when passing emergency services on the side of the road. Drivers in both directions on undivided roads will be bound by the rule which, if broken, will result in a hefty AUD448 (RM1,346) fine followed by three demerit points.

Once drivers have made it to a ‘safe distance’ past these emergency services, they can then accelerate back to the corresponding speed limit. Motorists are also required to give way to anyone on foot in the immediate area of the emergency.

This new ruling is a trial enforced by the NSW government to provide extra protection for all emergency workers and volunteers who respond to crashes and other incidents on NSW roads, said Bernard Carlon, NSW centre for road safety executive director. It will be trialled for 12 months before the government consults with police, emergency services and other stakeholders.

“When you see the blue or red flashing lights on an emergency vehicle stopped on the road, safely reduce your speed so that you are not exceeding 40 km/h when you pass. Keep to 40 km/h until you’ve safely passed all people and emergency vehicles.”

“We want to ensure that people protecting us on our road network don’t become casualties while doing their jobs. This rule will give extra protection and confidence that at the end of a shift they can go home safely to families and friends,” Carlon added.

Such a ruling isn’t news to other parts of Australia. For example, Victoria and Western Australia already force drivers to drive no more than 40 km/h when passing emergency services, while South Australian motorists are forced to crawl past flashing red-and-blue lights at 25 km/h.

Now, what do you think of this rule? Would you be for or against the idea of implementing it in Malaysia? Comment below.