New South Wales drivers travelling in a 70 km/h zone would have to slow down to 40 km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles with flashing lights, and travel at 60 km/h when driving in a 100 km/h zone during a year-long trial starting in September.
RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said the proposal was too complicated for drivers and focused too much on speed and not enough on creating greater safety outcomes.
“The New South Wales Government’s heart is in the right place, but it has got it wrong. The key focus has to be on getting drivers to move over when they see an incident, creating a safer space,” Mr Turner said.
“While how fast a car is travelling is important, it’s about us as motorists taking care and consideration and moving out of the lane closest to an incident and then slowing down.”
Mr Turner said it would also be short-sighted if the Queensland Government only provided protection for emergency services workers within new rules.
“We should be considering all those who work in a high-speed road environments, including roadside assistance workers and tow truck providers,” he said.
“RACQ roadside and highway clearance officers experience near-misses every day, providing protection and assistance to those who have been left stranded and vulnerable.
“This is a real opportunity for the Queensland Government to lead the way and get the emphasis right by looking at creating more space for emergency services and roadside workers to do their jobs and focus on moving cars over rather than just slowing them down.”