Attending a roadside incident can be risky and even life-threatening. However, from 2nd March 2018, workers will be able to respond to roadside incidents without worrying too much about safety concerns. Stationary vehicles will have flashing lights which will signal oncoming cars to slow down, switch lanes or limit speed to 40 kilometres per hour.
The SLOMO law has been introduced by the state to guarantee the safety of persons who attend roadside incidents in Western Australia.
Under the new law, all motorists are required to limit their speed to a maximum of 40 km/h when they encounter flashlights from incident response vehicles. If possible, they should switch to the next lane.
• What SLOMO means
SLOMO is an abbreviation for Slow Down, Move Over. The law stipulates that drivers should slow down when approaching stationary emergency automobiles, tow trucks, incident response service vehicles and motor-break down vehicles which display flashing lights during an incident.
• Why SLOMO is important
The purpose of this new law is to guarantee a safe environment for workers when responding to incidents on our highways.
• At what point should you slow down?
It’s a requirement for drivers to slow down if they are approaching in the lane where flashing lights are erected. Your maximum speed should be 40 km/h.
• What if you are approaching from the opposite side of the road?
The law does not apply to vehicles approaching from the lane on the opposite side of the road. However, if the incident occurs in the midsection of the highway, then traffic from both sides will be required to slow down.
• When should you move to the next lane?
If several lanes are traveling in the same direction, drivers should only switch lanes if it’s safe to do so to give incident response personnel space to perform their duties.
• The penalty for contravening the SLOMO laws
Offenders will face a penalty of three demerit points and $300 for obstructing police, fire and ambulance services.
You must clear the way to grant passage to emergency and breakdown vehicles flashing blue or red.
Make use of your vehicle indicators to convey your intentions to drivers of the response vehicles. Do not drive through a red light. Failure to grant emergency vehicles the right of passage attracts a penalty of 4 demerit points and $400.
All the details concerning the law and penalties are contained in the road traffic code 2000.
This law is for the protection and good of policemen, ambulance offices, tow truck drivers and civilians. People who are regularly involved in road side accidents such as Ohamatowing.org welcome the new laws for Australians and hope to see something similar implemented in the US. This law will save lives and make Western Australian roads safer.