40km per hour road transport offence

Forty kms legislation.jpg

Slow to 40km/h when approaching and passing stationary or slow moving emergency vehicles.

On 14 April 2018, a road transport offence commenced in the ACT to improve the safety of emergency services personnel.

The offence requires drivers to reduce their speed to 40km/h when passing or overtaking a stationary or slow moving emergency vehicle that is displaying a blue or red flashing light.  

In those circumstances the driver must:

  • Approach the emergency vehicle at a speed at which the driver can, if necessary, stop safely before reaching the vehicle
  • Give way to emergency workers on foot near the emergency vehicle
  • Pass the emergency vehicle at no more than 40km/h, or if a lesser speed limit applies, no more than the speed limit
  • Continue to drive at a speed at which the driver can, if necessary, stop safely, until the driver is a sufficient distance past the emergency vehicle to not pose a risk to any emergency worker on foot.

This law protects emergency services personnel while they are out on the road every day protecting the community, and applies to vehicles from.

  • Australian Federal Police, ACT Policing
  • ACT Ambulance Service
  • ACT Fire & Rescue
  • Rural Fire Service
  • ACT State Emergency Service
  • Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting 

This law applies on all roads across Canberra.

It does not relate to tow trucks, breakdown vehicles or other vehicles displaying amber flashing lights.

If the emergency vehicle is on the other side of a divided road, separated by a median strip, you do not need to slow down.

The 40km/h has been adopted to ensure consistency with the speed applying around other vulnerable road users such as school children and road workers.

The legislation can be found in the Road Transport (Road Rules) Regulation 2017, Section 300C. View the legislation here.

ACT Policing Online News

Need help with family violence?

Quick Exit