Protect those who Protect and Assist Us

Reminding motorists to slow down when passing emergency and roadside assistance workers is the focus of today’s theme for National Road Safety Week. 

Protect those who Protect and Assist Us serves as a reminder that for our emergency and roadside assistance workers, the road is their office, and like any workplace this should be a safe place to work,” said the Chair of the Road Safety Advisory Council, Scott Tilyard.

“By slowing down when we see slow moving or stationary red, blue, magenta or yellow flashing lights we can provide a safer environment for all who work in this area.

“Driving behaviours, such as inattention and failing to comply with speed limits can lead to serious or fatal injuries to road workers,” said Mr. Tilyard.

Now in its 11th year, National Road Safety Week is the initiative of the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group, which was founded by Peter Frazer. In February 2012, Mr Frazer’s daughter’s car broke down on the Hume Highway while on the way to university. After pulling into the emergency lane, Sarah called for assistance. As the tow-truck driver was hooking up her car, another truck veered into the emergency lane. Both Sarah and the tow truck driver were killed.

National Road Safety Week highlights the importance of driving safely and provides the opportunity to raise awareness about road trauma in our community and ways to reduce this.

In Tasmania motorists must slow down to 40 kilometres an hour, if it’s safe to do so, when passing emergency vehicles like police, fire and ambulances with emergency lights operating and also roadside assistance vehicles with flashing yellow lights. If it’s not safe to slow down to 40 kilometres an hour in higher speed zones, you must slow down as safely as possible and avoid breaking suddenly.

“This National Road Safety Week, we encourage you to have a conversation about road safety and today in particular remind drivers in your household and friends about what they must do if they see these flashing lights or roadside assistance workers on our roads,” said Mr Tilyard.

“We all have a part to play in creating a safer environment for everyone who works on our roads.”