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Emergency speed is a growing danger: police

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February 15, 2018

Sergeant Paul Nicoll of Campaspe Highway Patrol checks the speeds of motorists along Sutton St, near Echuca East Primary School.

ECHUCA police are warning motorists to slow down through emergency sites.

The crackdown follows an increase in close calls threatening the safety of first responders at accident sites.

The new law, which came into effect in July last year, requires drivers to slow to 40km/h when passing a stationary or slow-moving emergency or enforcement vehicle with lights, or sounding an alarm or VicRoads transport safety service vehicles.

However, Sergeant Paul Nicoll of Campaspe Highway Patrol said a number of motorists still weren’t adhering to this.

‘‘Travelling at high speed or even a normal speed past an accident and looking at what’s happening rather than the road is very dangerous,’’ he said.

‘‘Anything 40km/h or above can cause some really serious injury and can result in death.’’

Police have warned they will close the road if motorists fail to slow to 40km/h.

Ambulance Victoria Loddon Mallee regional director Kevin Masci stressed the importance of slowing down near accident sites.

‘‘Ambulance Victoria is doing a lot of work within our organisation to reduce safety risks to our paramedics and assistance from the public across Campaspe in slowing down when passing emergency vehicles with lights flashing will help keep everyone safe,’’ he said.

‘‘Providing the best care for our patients, as well as the safest possible workplace for our staff, are both top priorities for Ambulance Victoria.’’

VicRoads northern region acting regional director Brian Westley said rule was developed to protect emergency workers and members of the public at roadside incident scenes.

‘‘Drivers should always drive to the conditions and slow down whenever there were people on the roadside next to a stationary vehicle, regardless of the circumstances,’’ he said.

‘‘Emergency workers were involved in thorough consultation process, which included a working group of government agencies, as well as other parties.’’

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