Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has criticised the Slow Down Move Over (SLOMO) road law that came into effect in NSW in September last year, saying it is “doing more harm than good”.
Under this law, drivers are required to slow down to 40km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles attending an incident.
Western Australia and ACT introduced the same law about a year ago and it has been in place in Victoria since July 2017.
In South Australia a stricter SLOMO law – which requires drivers to slow down to 25km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles – has operated since 2014.
Chief Executive of RFNSW, Simon O’Hara, said its members had expressed concerns that the ‘go slow’ rule is posing serious risks to both truck drivers and light-vehicle drivers, particularly on major arterial roads with 100km/h speed limits.
He said “Our number one priority is always focused on road safety, but this rule is causing real problems for our heavy vehicle drivers”.
“Forcing a fully-laden truck to hit the brakes and slow down to 40 km/h, regardless of the speed limit, is not only totally impractical but incredibly dangerous.
“RFNSW will always support policies which aim to better protect our brave first-responders, but we’re now increasingly concerned that the ‘go slow’ rule could be doing more harm than good, putting their safety and the safety of truckies and light-vehicle drivers all at risk.
“What’s apparent is that the rule doesn’t factor in the differences between heavy and light vehicles. It would be a perverse outcome if we had a situation where a heavy vehicle was involved in an accident as a result of a light vehicle slowing down quickly to 40km/h, when a truck can’t.
“Our members adhere to safety regulations when they’re out on the roads, but the Government must ensure this rule is equally applied in circumstances where one size simply doesn’t fit all.”
The National Road and Motorists’ Association and Police Association of NSW have also questioned the rule.
“RFNSW is calling on the Government to scrap the current 12-month trial and engage with all stakeholders to come up with a common-sense solution that will protect all road users passing stationary emergency vehicles on our roads,” Mr O’Hara said.
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