From September 1 you're going to want to be a lot more careful around emergency vehicles on NSW roads, with a new law being trialed for the safety of emergency workers at roadside scenes. The new rule is going to come with a penalty of $448 and three demerit points if you break it, so you're going to want to study up before it's put in place.
Under the new regulations, drivers will be required to go 40km/h when driving past stationary emergency vehicles when their lights are flashing - just like you're already required to do when passing a bus with flashing lights.
The new rule is designed to protect emergency workers attending to roadside scenes. "We want to ensure that people protecting us on our road network don’t become casualties while doing their jobs," said the head of the NSW Centre for Road Safety, Bernard Carlon. "This rule will give extra protection and confidence that at the end of a shift they can go home safely to families and friends."
For once I think this won't be a hard rule to follow, considering most people already slow down to have a little look at what's going on, or just to avoid a speed trap. Notably laws like this already exist in many states, including Victoria and WA, and South Australia where drivers have to slow down to just 25km/h.
The new rule is going to be trialed for 12 months from September, at which point a decision will be made as to whether it will be made permanent. From September, NSW motorists will also have to watch their phone use while driving, with penalties for texting and driving set to get even heavier.
From September 2018, just touching your phone while you're driving could be enough for NSW drivers to lose their license. The number of demerit points for using a phone while driving is set to increase from four to five this year, so drivers should probably brush up on the rules around phone use while driving now.