Latest News

Victorian laws lag in crash assistance protections; RACV

Victoria will become the last state in Australia where rules for crash assistance vehicles are not protected by lower speed rules.

The South Australian Government was the latest state to introduce legislation to parliament to  reduce the speed limit when drivers pass all roadside breakdown and recovery vehicles.

This SA law means existing laws for emergency services such as police and fire services will be extended to the yellow light recovery vehicles such as tow trucks or roadside assistance vehciles.

Victoria’s leading motorist association, the RACV has run a long campaign calling for the wider laws in Victoria to include tow trucks and roadside assistance vehicles and to accord with the rules in five other states.

The controversial emergency slow down laws introduced in Victoria in 2017 stipulate that drivers must slow to 40km/h when police, firefighters, SES or other “red’ and blue” lighted vehicles operating at an incident on the state’s roads or face fines of $272.

In NSW the law stipulates that when drivers are passing a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing blue or red lights: if the speed limit is 80km/h or less, they must slow down to 40km/h. if the speed limit is over 80km/h, they must slow down safely and move over.

According to VicRoads a survey of 1600 emergency workers found almost one in five reported multiple near misses while eight per cent had had their vehicle struck by a passing vehicle. It also notes that 40km/h is the maximum speed at which pedestrians are likely to survive vehicle impact.

RACV General Manager of Automotive Services, Jackie Pedersen, says it is now time for the Victorian Government to ensure RACV emergency roadside assistance workers and tow truck drivers are provided the same protection as in other States.

“It is heartening to see that our colleagues in RAA ( SA) are now protected just like workers driving vehicles with red and blue flashing lights,” Ms Pedersen said.

“Following this development, we continue our call for the Victorian Government to urgently introduce a 40 kilometre per hour speed limit for passing vehicles with yellow flashing lights, including RACV patrol vans and tow trucks.

“RACV is committed to achieving a safe environment, not just for our service providers, but also our members when they are stranded at the side of the road and we look forward to a positive response from the Victorian Government.”

Send this to a friend