New NSW Road Rule: Slow Down To 40km/hr For Flashing Lights

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From 1 September 2018, drivers in New South Wales could face a fine of $448.00 and three (3) demerit points for exceeding the speed limit of 40 kilometres per hour whenever they pass an emergency vehicle that is stopped on the side of the road and flashing their blue and red lights. Drivers will also have to give way to any person who is on foot near the area of the emergency vehicle which is flashing their lights and to not increase their speed until they are safely past the area.

This rule applies to drivers passing near the area of a stationary emergency vehicle flashing their lights in both directions UNLESS the emergency vehicle is on the other side of the road and is separated by a median strip. However, if the emergency vehicle is on the median strip then the rule will continue to apply to drivers travelling in both directions. It applies to all roads including motorways, highways and freeways. The new rule will be in place for a trail period of 12 months to evaluate the safety and traffic impacts and any other consequences there may be for having the new rule.

Driving 40 kilometres per hour near stationary emergency vehicles is being introduced to improve the safety of police and emergency workers as well as those people emergency services seek to help. It also provides drivers with greater direction as to how they should approach a situation when they see the flashing lights. Transport for New South Wales, Centre for Road Safety, said motorists should always start slowing down in a controlled manner as soon as they see blue or red flashing lights, taking into account the road conditions at the time and other road users.

Emergency service vehicles covered by the new rule are:

  • NSW Police Force Vehicles

  • Ambulance Service of NSW vehicles

  • Fire & Rescue NSW vehicles

  • State Emergency Services vehicles

  • Rural Fire Service vehicles

  • Volunteer Rescue Association vehicles

  • Traffic Emergency Response vehicles

If you require any further information or need assistance in determining your options after receiving a fine, please contact:

Carrie Alton
02 4036 3307

Mobile Phone Detection

Mobile Phone Detection

In NSW, it is an offence to use your mobile phone whilst driving. From 1 July 2018, drivers on NSW roads can be detected and fined for using mobile phones whilst driving, due to The Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Road Safety) Act 2018 No 15, which has provided powers for camera technology to detect hand held phone usage.

A $330.00 fine and a loss of four demerit points is the result of using your mobile phone whilst driving. If you are caught in a school zone, the fine will increase to $439.00. If you are caught using your mobile phone whilst driving in a double demerit period, you will be subject to double demerit penalties.

Once you have been detected by a camera using your mobile phone whilst driving, the footage will be reviewed manually and then you will be sent an infringement notice. If you are using devices in your car that allow you to use your mobile phone through connectivity services integrated in the car system without physically touching the phone, such as Apple Car Play, Android Auto, or other manufacturer infotainment systems, the camera technology will not record an infringement for the use of the mobile device under these circumstances.

Currently in NSW, only unrestricted drivers can use mobile phones only if the phone is

  • in a cradle fixed to the vehicle
  • is not in the way of the drivers road vision or if you can use Bluetooth or voice activation without physically touching the phone, including the use of integrated car systems such as App le Car Play or Android Auto.

If the above is adhered to, mobile phones are permitted for the following purposes:

  • To make or answer a call
  • To play music
  • As a driver’s aid – example Navigation

Be sure not to be caught using your mobile phone whilst driving. Research has revealed that simply taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds, doubles your chances of having an accident. Males and Females aged 17-39 years old have the highest involvement of mobile phone use as a factor of accidents.


If you have an incident with mobile phone offences and you need advice, be sure to contact our Criminal Law Department on 4647 7577 to book your initial consultation!

For further information contact:

Luisa Gaetani
Senior Lawyer
02 4607 2112