NEW CHANGES: From next Thursday, September 26, changes to an important new road rule in NSW kicks in.
NEW CHANGES: From next Thursday, September 26, changes to an important new road rule in NSW kicks in. Chris Ison ROK021116cdrive2

The big road rule change motorists must know next week

CHANGES to a major road rule will kick in next week to help protect those who protect us.

From September 26, under the new Slow Down and Give Space rule NSW drivers will no longer need to slow down to 40km/h on roads with speed limits of 90km/h or more when passing stationary emergency vehicles with flashing lights.

Motorists will need to slow down safely and move over to give emergency vehicles as much space as possible.

In speed zones of 80km/h or less, motorists will still need to slow down to 40km/h.

On roads with a speed limit of 90km/h or more, drivers will need to slow down safely to a speed that is reasonable for the circumstances.

Motorists must also provide sufficient space between their vehicle and the stationary tow truck, breakdown assistance or emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights, which includes changing lanes on a multi-lane road, if it is safe to do so.

Drivers must also give way to any person on foot in the vicinity of a stationary tow truck, breakdown assistance or emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights. Motorists must not increase their speed until they are a sufficient distance past all the vehicles and people involved.

The rule does not apply when a stationary tow truck, breakdown assistance or emergency vehicle displaying flashing lights is on the opposite side of a divided road separated by a median strip.

Off the back of a trial of the major road rule requiring drivers to slow down to 40km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles with flashing blue or red lights finishing, the new change was made as a result of a review of a 12 month trial, which included community feedback.

This rule is being changed to improve the safety of emergency services personnel, tow truck operators and breakdown assistance providers working on the road, as well as the people they are helping.

The changes will also make it safer on higher speed roads where the time and distance required to reduce speed to 40km/h is the greatest and protect vulnerable roadside workers.