Tow truck drivers left out of 40km/h rule

The rule applies for emergency vehicles with flashing red, blue or magenta lights, or sounding an alarm. It doesn’t apply to vehicles with yellow flashing lights "as these lights are present on a wide range of vehicles performing diverse tasks", says VicRoads.

The rule applies for emergency vehicles with flashing red, blue or magenta lights, or sounding an alarm. It doesn’t apply to vehicles with yellow flashing lights "as these lights are present on a wide range of vehicles performing diverse tasks", says VicRoads.

The controversial new 40km/h rule when passing emergency service vehicles is continuing to raise questions less than two weeks after it was introduced.

The new rule requires drivers to slow down to 40km/h when passing a stationary or slow-moving emergency vehicle with flashing red, blue or magenta lights, or sounding an alarm.

It is limited to emergency and enforcement vehicles “to avoid confusion” and does not apply to vehicles with yellow flashing lights, such as tow trucks.

Read more: How the new 40km/h speed limit works

Bendigo tow truck driver Daniel Whitehead said the rule would make accident scenes a lot safer, but said it was ridiculous that tow trucks weren’t included.

MORE NOTICE: J&A Logistics company director Jeremy Turpie. The Bendigo-based transport company didn’t receive any notice about the new rule. Click on the photo to read more. Picture: NONI HYETT

MORE NOTICE: J&A Logistics company director Jeremy Turpie. The Bendigo-based transport company didn’t receive any notice about the new rule. Click on the photo to read more. Picture: NONI HYETT

“If there are no police in attendance, then you’ve really got to watch yourself,” he said.

“It still is dangerous – if not more dangerous because you haven’t got the extra support and extra pair of eyes to watch for oncoming traffic.”

The Penno Smash Repairs part-time worker and tow truck driver of 10 years said cars and trucks regularly drove too fast past scenes they were working at.

Read more: Rule a ‘recipe for disaster’, says Bendigo truckie

Cathcart Smash Repairs owner Damon Cathcart echoed Mr Whitehead’s comments saying the rule was a good thing, but he would have liked to see tow truck drivers included.

“It would have been nice to have us included as well,” he said. 

“It would be nice to keep my drivers safer.”

Mr Cathcart said most drivers already slowed down and his four tow truck drivers hadn’t had any issues.

Kings Panels head panel beater Jay Dennis said the rule should be dependent on the situation.

“[Tow truck drivers] have obviously got to do a quite dangerous job too,” he said.

“Their safety should also be taken into consideration.”

Read more: New 40km/h rule needs more thought, says Bendigo SES volunteer

The rule has also raised questions about the short notice given to drivers before it came into effect.

It was announced by VicRoads on June 19 and came into effect less than two weeks later.

J&A Logistics Australia company director Andrew Turpie said last week his transport business received no industry news about the change.

“It seems to have come out of nowhere,” he said.

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The story Tow truck drivers left out of 40km/h rule first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.

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