Roadside assistance workers are extremely vulnerable while working on the road. There is a high risk that they will be struck by vehicles passing at high speed.
Since the rule was first introduced in 2019 for emergency services, reports of near misses among emergency service personnel are down. However, roadside assistance personnel continue to report near misses and feeling unsafe when attending roadside incidents.
The changes to this rule will improve safety for roadside assistance workers by reducing their exposure to fast-moving passing vehicles and ensure their safety while they assist at roadside incidents.
The rule is also being changed to make sure people can comply safely on high-speed roads (over 80 km/h). Heavy vehicles take longer to slow down and on high-speed roads, it may not be possible for a heavy vehicle to safely slow from 110km/h to 40 km/h. It may also be unsafe for motorists to brake suddenly to slow to 40km/h when travelling at high speeds if a heavy vehicle is behind or in front of them.