I received this question from a correspondent who came across my blog through
… Google (of course), after a fairly fruitless effort on my part to find out actual legislation/law/legal requirement for the speed limit when driving past accident scenes. From what I gather, your site isn’t geared for civilian advice, but it seems you might know where to look better than I seem to be able to. My searches give me “pull over and let emergency services vehicles have right of way” for the most part.
A post I came across on Facebook, originating from South Australia, says SA has implemented a flat rate 25kph when civilian vehicles are passing a scene in which there are stationary emergency service vehicles. Google verified this on government web sites.
I did some research trying to find out if the remaining states and territories ALSO have this rule. The best I could find were two articles from April for Victoria, and July for Tasmania that says speed limits when passing a scene *might* be implemented. I’ve looked in QLD, NT and WA road rules hand books, and can find no mention of this. Tasmania goes so far as to say to slow down to 40kph when there are flashing *yellow* lights (on school buses/school crossings), but nothing for red and blue flashing lights.
I haven’t given up yet. I haven’t ruled out emailing the various Transport Departments individually to gather this information.
Is this information something you can come up with? Is it worthy of a post (so Google searches can find it)?
My site is for answering questions about the law and Australia’s emergency services and emergency management. It is not ‘intended’ only for members of the emergency services (though I have no doubt they are the largest group of readers). The law applies to and affects everyone, whether they are responders, interested citizens or those that have or will be affected by an emergency or call on the emergency services. So the advice I give is advice on the law, not advice for ‘responders’ or ‘civilians’ but anyone who wants to ask.
Now to the point:
South Australia is the only jurisdiction that has a special speed limit when passing emergency vehicles (rather than an accident scene) – see ‘Emergency Service Speed Zones’ in SA from 1 September (March 21, 2014). No other state or territory has followed SA’s lead and implemented an accident or ‘emergency service speed zone’. The reason my correspondent hasn’t been able to find ‘actual legislation/law/legal requirement for the speed limit when driving past accident scenes’ in the other jurisdictions is because there isn’t anything to find.
For the actual legislation in South Australia see the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) s 83.
Reblogged this on Perigrines Eyrie and commented:
This came up in a Facebook post
I believe Victoria is in the final stages of enacting legislation for 40kph passing emergency vehicles on the roadside displaying red and blue lights.
I read that the law has changed in Victoria and SA and is about to change in WA.
Can we have an update please?
Indeed the law has changed. From 1 July 2017 there has been a 40km/h speed limit when passing emergency vehicles in Victoria – see https://emergencylaw.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/new-speed-limit-when-passing-emergency-vehicles-in-victoria/.
Western Australia also introduced a 40km/h speed limit with effect from 2 March 2018 (Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA) r 137A(4)).
There has been a push to introduce the 40km/h limit in Queensland and NSW but that has not happened, nor has the limit been introduced in either the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory. On 22 FEbruary 2018 it was announced that Tasmania would introduce the limit – see http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5245632/new-laws-to-force-drivers-to-slow-down-when-passing-crash-scenes/ but the changes have not yet been made.
The law in South Australia remains as discussed in this post, that is a 25km/h speed limit.