New road rules announced by the State Government this week will reduce the risks to CFA members when responding to emergencies and help them fulfil their important roles more effectively.
From 1 July, drivers must slow to 40km/h when passing a stationary or slow-moving emergency vehicle responding to an incident with flashing lights or a siren sounding.
CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington welcomed the new rules, which would apply to all CFA vehicles with flashing lights or sirens.
“CFA has been consulted and fully supports these changes to ensure greater safety for our members when responding to incidents and emergencies,” he said.
“There have been too many incidents where CFA members have experienced close calls or even worse – have been struck by passing vehicles – while responding to an emergency.
“CFA vehicles use red and blue flashing lights and sirens when responding to an emergency and while attending an operational incident.
“It’s important that when road users see these lights or hear the siren, they slow to 40km/h and pass with care.
“Where there were two or more trucks attending an incident, the area between the two vehicles, at each end of the scene will effectively become a 40km/h speed zone.
“Our members put themselves at risk daily in their commitment to protect lives and property throughout the community. It is important therefore, to ensure that they in turn, have the necessary support and protection.”
The new rule also applies to other emergency services organisations including Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, MFB, VICSES and VicRoads Transport Safety Service vehicles with magenta flashing lights.
The fine for an infringement of the new road by Victoria Police is $277, with a maximum court penalty of $793.