500 signatures reached
To: Commonwealth Road Safety Minister Hon. Catherine King MP
Slow By 30 law needed to protect People Involved In or Assisting at a Road Incident or Crash!
Dear Minister King
While drivers and motorcycle riders are compelled to slow to 40km/hr when passing a council worker mowing the grass, it is still perfectly legal to do 110km/hr while passing an emergency services, tow truck or roadside assistance vehicle assisting at a car crash.
We need a law as part of Australia's Road Rules to protect first call and emergency services personnel and those that they assist on our roads. By making sure that passing drivers and riders "slow down and move over" when approaching an incident, crash or breakdown we can ensure road users "Drive! So Others Survive!"
On 1 May 2013 the NSW Government and Opposition gave in principle agreement to the SARAH "Slow By 30" law and Minister Gay MLC will take the proposal to the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI). As the Commonwealth Minister for Road Safety, we want your commitment that you will push for the "Slow By 30" law to be introduced across Australia.
Given that this is the United Nations Decade for Road Safety, and as the Commonwealth Minister for Road Safety, we ask that you take the following actions: i) write to each State and Territory Road Minister requesting that the NSW proposal for a "Slow By 30" Australian Road Rule be placed on the SCOTI national road safety agenda and ii) given the important road safety implications for all jurisdictions, request that this new Australian Road Rule be implemented across Australia by 15 May 2014.
Why is this important?
SLOW BY 30 LAW NEEDED TO PROTECT PEOPLE INVOLVED IN OR ASSISTING AT A ROAD INCIDENT OR CRASH!
We desperately need a specific law as part of the Australian Road Rules to protect first call and emergency services personnel and those that they assist on our roads. Such a law will change behaviour by making sure that passing drivers "slow down and move over" when approaching an incident, crash or breakdown. Let's make it a requirement for all of us to "Drive So Others Survive!"
On 15th February 2012, Sarah Frazer's car simply overheated. The vehicle's engine stopped and she had to pull over on a stretch of the Hume Highway that was not wide enough to fit her car. Despite parking hard against the safety guardrail, Sarah's car remained stranded out in a 110km/hr lane, leaving Ms Frazer, and subsequently the tow truck driver came to her aid, directly in harm's way. While in the process of securing Ms Frazer's car for towing, a passing truck hit the pair killing them instantly.
The road didn't meet the Australian standard and the passing vehicle that killed them didn't need to even slow down. While Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) has successfully lobbied the NSW Government to change the emergency lane width to meet the Australian Roads standard, (and indeed changed the very structure of the Hume Freeway (1.5 kilometres of road where the accident occured to ensure a proper full width emergency lane), ALL Governments must act to ensure that drivers and their passengers should not be at risk of death simply because their car overheats, the engine management system fails or a tyre needs changing.
And passing drivers must actively protect, not only the drivers, motorcycle riders and passengers but also those who come to their assistance,emergency services, tow truck drivers and roadside assistance personnel.
Dozens of people are killed or injured beside the road each year, especially emergency services, tow truck and roadside assistance personnel. A new Australian Road Rule needs to be urgently introduced to require passing drivers to "Slow By 30 kph" and move to an adjacent lane away from the incident if safe to do so. Slow Down and Move Over already exists in 48 states in the US , as well as in Canada.
Isn't it time we caught up?!
How it will be delivered
The next meeting of the Ministerial Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) will be in November 2013 and then May 2014.
Media releases will be scheduled for August, November and 15 February 2014 to detail progess. A media conference will coincide with the May 2014 SCOTI meeting and the email signatures will be delivered in person.