Queensland motorists will cop a $432 fine and be hit with three demerit points if they fail to obey a new road rule which takes effect next month.
The new rule requires motorists to move over and slow down when emergency response workers are on the road.
The rule applies to ambulances, police cars, fire trucks, transport enforcement vehicles and assistance providers such as RACQ (Royal Automobile Club of Queensland), tow trucks and assistance vehicles.
"The rule is simple – if you see flashing lights at the roadside, move over and slow down," Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said in a statement.
"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 will come in on September 16. Until then an education campaign will run to ensure motorists are aware of the change.
Change in legislation welcomed by RACQ
In a statement, RACQ said roadside officers and emergency service personnel are often involved in near misses while on the job, or sometimes being struck by passing motorists.
Glenn Toms, RACQ Group Executive - Assistance, welcomed the change in legislation as something the group has been advocating for over the last few years.
“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,” he said.
“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."
Mr Toms added the new rule will change how Queenslanders drive around roadside incidents, and allow responders to work safely while out on the road.
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