New road rule to keep roadside assistance workers safe

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is improving safety for vulnerable road users around the State. Under the Towards Zero Acton Plan 2020-2024, the Government is investing over $75 million to improve road safety for all Tasmanian road users.

The rule that drivers must slow down to 40 km/h when passing emergency vehicles like police, fire and ambulances has proven a success with our critical response workers feeling safer and near-misses down.

Now we are extending this rule to all roadside assistance vehicles.

As part of National Road Safety Week, I am pleased to announce that on 1 August 2022 the new rule will come into force meaning roadside assistance workers conducting call-out or breakdown assistance, towing, battery replacement and other on-road support services will now also have this protection.

It’s important we all slow down to protect those who protect and assist us, and whose workplace is the road.

Just like the current rule which requires drivers to safely slow to 40 km/h when passing any stationary or slow-moving emergency vehicle with red, blue, or magenta flashing lights, now roadside assistance vehicles with flashing yellow lights will also get the same protection.

This will reduce their exposure to fast-moving passing vehicles and keep them safe while they assist at roadside incidents.

On high-speed roads above 80km/h, drivers must slow to 40km/h if it’s safe to do so.

Before the new rule commences, we are making sure everyone knows what they have to do with an education campaign scheduled to commence a month out from the start of the new rule.

Emergency service and roadside assistance workers are vulnerable when working on the road. By slowing our speeds as we approach them, we can protect them while they protect and assist us.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.