A new road rule is being introduced to help keep emergency service vehicles and their crews safe.
From September 1, NSW drivers must slow down to 40 kilometres per hour if emergency services vehicles are stopped on the road with blue or red lights flashing.
This applies to motorists travelling in both directions.
The only exception to the rule is if the road is divided by a median strip.
The new rule also requires motorists to give way to any person on foot in the immediate area of the emergency vehicle.
Motorists are advised not to increase their speed until they are a safe distance past the vehicle.
The new road rule will be monitored by the NSW Government over a 12-month trial period in conjunction with NSW Police and emergency service organisations.
The fine for not observing the new rule is not to be sneezed at – a $448 fine and three demerit points.
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“Police, firefighters, ambulance officers, State Emergency Service and rescue volunteers perform difficult and dangerous work for the community,” a statement from the NSW Centre for Road Safety reads.
“But just like everyone doing their job, they should feel safe and know that they are protected at work.”
Similar rules are already in place in Victoria, Western Australia, and South Australia, where motorists are required to slow down to 25 km/hr.
Queensland is the only state not to have implemented a similar rule.