Motorists will have to stick to a 40km/h speed limit under a NSW Government trial.
Motorists will have to stick to a 40km/h speed limit under a NSW Government trial. Trevor Veale

40km/h emergency speed limit to have 'no exceptions'

FLASHING lights from stationary emergency service vehicles will soon mean speed limits of 40km/h under all circumstances.

The State Government will undertake a 12-month trial which will see motorists required to slow down to 40km/h when passing stationary police cars, ambulances, fire crews and other emergency vehicles with their lights flashing.

A NSW Officer of Roads, Maritime and Freight spokesman said there would be no exceptions to the rule during the trial, which starts on September 1 this year.

Road users must be travelling at no more than 40km/h while passing emergency services.

Those passing police officers who have pulled motorists over on a highway will be no exception but if you're travelling in the opposite direction of emergency vehicles where a median strip was in the centre of the road, you can remain at speed.

Richmond East Ambulance duty officer Acting Inspector Ian Murphy said it was a challenge for staff to create a "safe work space" in a "really uncontrollable environment".

"By and large, most people are pretty good ... but the last thing we want is going to an incident where one of our own colleagues has being injured," Insp Murphy said.

Police Association of NSW Northern Region executive member Sergeant Brett Henderson-Smith said police had been keen to see the rule implemented after a driver ploughed into officers who were setting up a random breath test site in Leumeah, Sydney, in February.

"The Police Association has been calling for this for a long time," he said.

NSW Rural Fire Service Association president Ken Middleton has also welcomed the plans, saying it was a "vital measure that helped make our roads safer".

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said there would be a "comprehensive public education campaign" ahead of the trial.

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