EMERGENCY WORKERS SUPPORT LABOR’S CALL FOR ‘SLOW DOWN, MOVE OVER’ LAWS IN NSW

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NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has announced Labor will introduce legislation into State Parliament this week to protect emergency responders on our roads.

Two weeks ago, Mr Foley called on the Berejiklian Government to introduce ‘Slow Down, Move Over’ (SLOMO) laws after two police officers setting up a Random Breath Testing checkpoint at Leumeah were seriously injured when hit by a car.

Mr Foley said then he would support Government legislation but if the Government failed to act, he would introduce the laws himself.

As there had been no movement from the Government, Mr  Foley said Labor would use this week’s sitting of Parliament to introduce SLOMO laws.

A change to the law had also been urged on the government by volunteer firefighters, emergency responders and road safety campaigners, including the Safer Australian Roads And Highways (SARAH) Group. 

SARAH Group President Peter Frazer lost his daughter Sarah in 2012, when she and a tow truck driver were killed after being sideswiped by a heavy vehicle on the Hume Highway.

Mr Foley was joined at today’s announcement by Mr Frazer, Gerard Hayes from the Health Services Union (representing paramedics), Scott Weber from the NSW Police Association, Leighton Drury from the Fire Brigade Employees Union and Ken Middleton from the Rural Fire Service Association who all support Labor’s bill.

‘Slow Down, Move Over’ laws require drivers to reduce their speeds to a maximum of 40 kilometres per hour when passing stationary emergency or incident response vehicles.

Incident response vehicles include:

  • NSW Police Force
  • NSW Ambulance Service
  • St Johns Ambulance
  • NSW Fire and Emergency Services
  • NSW Rural Fire Service
  • Tow truck drivers

Western Australia introduced SLOMO laws this month and South Australia and Victoria already have similar laws in place. 

Mr Foley says NSW should follow the WA law which requires drivers to slow down and move over or change lanes if safe to do so. The penalty for failing to obey the law is a $300 fine and the loss of three demerit points.

He called on the Premier to guarantee bipartisan support for the legislation.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“We won’t ignore the emergency and incident responders who have been asking for this legislation”.

“We need to do all we can to protect our emergency responders and members of the public when they are on our roads.  This will ensure motorists Slow Down, Move Over.”

“This legislation should receive the support of all members of the NSW parliament.”