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Roads Minister: Use "Common Sense" Over New Road Rule

In the face of criticism over the new road rule that forces NSW motorists to slow to 40km/h around stopped emergency vehicles, the state's Roads Minister has now told drivers to simply use "common sense".

Amid safety concerns after the new law came into effect at the beginning of the month, NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey says drivers need to access the situation before slowing down to 40km/h when passing a stationary emergency vehicle which is displaying blue and red flashing lights.

"To slam your breaks on to get down to 40 is dangerous and no one expects people to be driving in an unsafe manner," she told ABC radio.

"We must be aware of what is behind us, appreciating and respecting that it takes a truck a lot longer to slow down."

"We are expecting common sense to be a very big part of this and we don't want our drivers or anybody to be put into danger."

However, the Motorcycle Council of NSW recently said in a statement that, while making the roads safer for emergency workers is important, the rule was still problematic.

"By suddenly reducing the speed limit on a major carriageway to 40km/h are we swapping the safety of emergency workers for the safety of ordinary motorists,"

"Anyone who has driven on a high speed road knows the effect of braking suddenly from 110km/h to 40km/h."

"The resulting snaking of traffic can produce a trail of rear end collisions, and more often than not this is what happens."

Ms Pavey said motorists should "slow down towards 40" when they see stationary emergency vehicles with flashing blue and red lights, but there is still a grey area surrounding what drivers are expected to do as the law states they must slow down to 40km/h, and not simply just do their best to slow down.

The law is currently undergoing a 12-month trial, which will see the NSW Government work with police to monitor the impact on traffic and road safety.

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