A new road rule that requires drivers to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency service vehicles has been slammed by lobby groups.
The rule, which came into effect in New South Wales yesterday, means that drivers will need to slow down when passing stopped emergency vehicles flashing their blue and red lights.
Motorists also need to give way to any person on foot near a parked emergency vehicle flashing its lights, according to the rule.
Failure to do so could result in a fine of $448 and three demerit points.
The rule, which is in a 12-month trial period, does not apply to drivers who are on the other side of the road - if they are separated by a median strip.
But lobby groups are concerned about the wider implications of the road rule, particularly on freeways where speed limits are markedly higher than 40 km/h.
Steve Pearce, Chairman of the Motorcycle Council of NSW, told Sydney Morning Herald: 'By suddenly reducing the speed limit on a major carriageway to 40km/h we are effectively swapping the safety of emergency workers for the safety of ordinary motorists.'
He said this could lead to rear end collisions.
Motorcycle Council members have 'almost unanimously' voiced there concern about the rule, as a rear end