Road Traffic (Emergency Vehicles) Amendment Bill


Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart) (10:45): Obtained leave and introduced a bill for an act to amend the Road Traffic Act 1961. Read a first time.

Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart) (10:45): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I highlight that I move this bill in conjunction with the member for Kavel, the opposition shadow for volunteers, emergency services and road safety. It is something that we have worked on together. He passes on his apology; he is at an important volunteer meeting at the moment and cannot be here.

I would also like to disclose a personal interest. I am a CFS member, and this bill would, of course, affect CFS members. However, like many personal interests, this is not a conflict of interest; it actually gives me greater insight into this important issue.

This is a very simple bill to change the maximum legal speed when motorists pass emergency services vehicles using flashing lights from 40km/h down to 25km/h. To me, it really is common sense. This would apply to the CFS, SES, ambulance, police, MFS and some other emergency services organisations.

This is something that has been called for by emergency services groups for a very long time, and I would like to pay tribute to the Executive Officer of the CFS Volunteers Association, Wendy Shirley, who has been seeking this support from the government for in excess of five years. I really cannot understand why there have been government delays on this issue. It is a very straightforward, very common sense adjustment that gives both volunteer and professional emergency services workers exactly the same protection that roadside workers currently receive.

So, when on a road where flashing lights are being displayed by any emergency service, whether it is just on arrival, whether it is actively involved in an emergency at the time, or cleaning up afterwards, motorists would be asked to slow down to a maximum speed of 25km/h instead of 40km/h.

For the effective work at the emergency service scene and, very importantly, for the protection of all people (including volunteers) who are doing their work there, this is a very straightforward change. So, I seek the support of this house and I also seek the swift passage of this bill through this house by the government. I also suggest that, in line with the government's current road safety advertising campaign, if support and swift passage are not received, those who thwart it would define themselves as wankers, roosters and knobs.

Debate adjourned on motion of Mrs Geraghty.


No Very

Captcha Image