Danger of new road rule caught on video
A police officer was nearly hit by a truck driver attempting to comply with the new NSW road rule that forces drivers to slow down to 40km/h around emergency vehicles.
Confronting footage filmed from a police highway patrol officer's helmet camera and obtained by 7 News has renewed calls for the rule to be scrapped.
The video was filmed on December 28 on a highway near Ballina and shows two police officers on motorbikes pulled over behind a stopped car.
The driver furthest away from the car watches as a truck approaches, with the driver suddenly remembering they have to slow down from 110km/h to 40km/h.
A 12-month trial of the "go slow" rule came into effect on September 1 and requires motorists to slow down to 40km/h when passing a stationary emergency vehicle displaying blue and red flashing lights.
The officer watches as the driver veers into the left lane while trying to brake, causing the massive vehicle to skid for over 60 metres.
The truck narrowly avoids hitting the second police officers and the stationary car.
Simon O'Hara, from Road Freight NSW, told 7 News forcing trucks to slow down quickly at high speeds is incredibly risky.
"If you've got a fully loaded truck having to slow down very quickly to 40km/h you might end up with an outcome that is anything but safe," he said.
Both the public and organisations have voiced their concerns about the new rule and the dangerous consequences it could have.
Police Association of NSW (PANSW) president, Tony King, has previously said even police officers, who the rule is meant to help protect, have serious concerns.
"Of course, we need to create space between vehicles and workers, and we need motorists to slow down around emergency and roadside assistance vehicles for the safety of everyone on the road," he said.
"However, the restriction of the 40km/h limit has caused some issues, particularly on major arterial roads."
Mr King has suggested that amendments need to be made to the rule to ensure drivers are slowing down safely.
NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury has said they have had a lot of feedback from concerned members about the go slow rule.
"It shouldn't be about making sure people slow down to exactly 40km/h. It should be about making sure people are aware of the risks and slowing down in a safe way," he said.
Drivers caught not following the rule can cop a $448 fine and three demerit points, along with a maximum court penalty of $2200.