A new road rule designed to protect emergency service workers is coming in to effect from September 1 in New South Wales.

Under the new law, drivers must slow to 40km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles – which includes police cars, fire engines and ambulances – displaying red and blue flashing lights.

Failure to comply with the rule will cost you $448 and three demerit points.

The rule applies to drivers travelling in either direction unless the lanes are divided by a median strip.

“The new road rule will provide extra protection for all emergency workers and volunteers who respond to crashes and other incidents on our roads,” said Bernard Carlon, head of the NSW Centre for Road Safety.

“When you see the blue or red flashing lights on an emergency vehicle stopped on the road, safely reduce your speed so that you are not exceeding 40km/h when you pass.

“Keep to 40km/h until you’ve safely passed all people and emergency vehicles.

“We want to ensure that people protecting us on our road network don’t become casualties while doing their jobs. This rule will give extra protection and confidence that at the end of a shift they can go home safely to families and friends.”

The new road rule will be trialled for 12 months before authorities decide whether or not to make the law permanent.

Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia have similar rules in place whereas South Australia requires motorists to slow to 25km/h. Queensland has rejected calls for a similar road rule.

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