New SloMo law leaves 2.6 million NRMA Members in harm's way

18 August 2018

“On 1 September the NSW Government will implement a “Slow Down Move Over” (SLOMO) law. While it will cover police & emergency services it specifically excludes our tow truck drivers and roadside assistance, and in doing so, all those in their care.” Peter Frazer, President, Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) said.

By contrast, on 2 March 2018, the Government of Western Australia lead the nation by introducing a comprehensive and best practice law to protect ALL those whose work on our roads place them in dangerous or rescue situations. Given this, SARAH asked the NSW Government to i) demonstrate its leadership by following WA’s lead and implementing their road rule; and ii) together with Western Australia, championing the road rule with other jurisdictions. Unfortunately, the Government has proposed their second rate road rule.

To improve the current proposal, on 16 August 2018 in the NSW Parliament, Labor’s spokesperson for Road Safety, Ms Jodi McKay MP, attempted to introduce a Private Member’s Bill based on WA’s best practice law. It noted while the proposed road rule is just be based on the colour of a vehicle’s flashing lights, a best practice road rule would reduce the risks faced by all those whose job places them in harm’s way on our roads.

Unfortunately, as the NSW Government refused to debate the Private Member’s Bill, NSW will now put in place a new road rule that continues to leave Tow Truck Drivers and the NRMA, and those in their care, in harm’s way. The Government is also ignoring its commitment to SARAH’s 23,000 signature Petition that started the call for a comprehensive SloMo law more than six years ago.

“On 15 February 2012 my own daughter, Ms Sarah Frazer, and the tow truck driver sent by the NRMA to assist her, were killed when a truck driver drove directly into them on the Hume Freeway. As a result, and to safeguard all those who assist on our roads, we started our fight for the implementation of SLOMO laws across Australia.”

“Now let me be very clear… If you or your loved ones are broken down in a dangerous location, and you are being assisted by a Tow Truck Driver or the NRMA, the proposed NSW road rule means that it is perfectly legal for vehicles to drive past you just centimetres away, without even having to slow down by 1 kilometre per hour. Drivers won’t need to move over and give you the space to be safe. They won’t need to actively protect your life!”

By contrast to the NSW law, the WA Road Safety Commission presents a simple comprehensive message:

“We will continue to ask Governments around Australia to strive for best practice laws that place people’s safety first. So whether its our police, emergency services, or roadside assistance and tow truck drivers, let’s ensure passing drivers slow down and give these heroes, and those in their care, the space they need to be safe.”

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