Behind the SLOMO law

The Road Safety Commission has taken a look behind Western Australia’s new slow down, move over law.

09 Mar 2018
The Road Safety Commission has taken a look behind Western Australia’s new slow down, move over law.

The Commission’s Assistant Director Strategy Melissa Watts, who chaired the Emergency and Breakdown Vehicle Working Group explains the need to protect roadside emergency workers in WA.

In December 2013, a female tow truck driver was struck and killed while attending to a broken down vehicle on Roe Highway, while another incident in February 2016 left a roadside emergency worker was seriously injured.

Ms Watts said those incidents and other near-misses reported by emergency and incident response workers attending roadside emergencies were the catalyst for the new SLOMO Law.

Campaign videos


  • Geoff Banks 10/03/2018 11:08:18 PM
    Imagine a rainy night, traffic busy.....flashing lights on the freeway ..... The driver in the left lane brakes, pulls out into the right lane at say30! Gets hit by a car that hasn't seen the lights doing 100! The cars veer off straight into the safety workers! other cars veer off into the safety workers trying to avoid the accident.
    Really Melissa Watts are you trying to get people killed?
    This is the most stupid road rule ever! You all ought to be sacked!

  • Sharka 12/03/2018 1:02:19 PM
    Hi Geoff,
    Thank you for your comment.
    A driver should only move into the next lane if it is safe to do so. Rain, hail or shine. The legislation provides uniformity of speed for all lanes travelling in the same direction as a roadside emergency. It is now the law to slow to a maximum of 40km/h and drivers who do not adhere will be penalised.
    Kind Regards,

  • Gerry Lavell 23/03/2018 7:13:42 AM
    The advertisement is wrong. It states that "... flashing lights on a stationary vehicle means approaching vehicles must slow down, move over and pass at 40km/h". I work from a vehicle with yellow flashing lights and am parked at the side of or in the road but am not incident response so drivers do not need to slow down when passing me (and can slow my job down if they do). It should be worded something like, "... flashing lights on a stationary vehicle means there may be an incident, thus requiring approaching vehicles to slow down to 40km/h and move over." You could also mention the applicability or otherwise of the law to traffic on the opposite side of the road to the incident.

    I have already 'phoned about this but have had no response.

  • Sharka 27/03/2018 8:06:22 AM
    Hi Gerry,
    Thank you for your comment. We have received similar feedback already and our advertisement has been changed to say “stationary incident response vehicle” instead of just "stationary vehicle". You can see for yourself on our Emergency Vehicles page:
    Thanks again for your feedback.

  • Kerry Matthews 28/03/2018 6:38:25 PM
    While I do appreciate there is a need to ensure the safety of emergency response vehicles attending to incidents on the road incurring the SLOMO law reaction for poor driving behaviour, regretfully, I simply wonder why, why, why the old principle rule that I was brought up with, was emphasised in my driver education and licencing, seems to no longer be emphasised. That is, drive to the conditions, be aware of what is going on in the road in front, behind you and to the sides, and to be responsible for your driving! As a professional driver in a remote area, I always slow down, prepare to stop or proceed with caution when seeing Police or other emergency vehicles. Isn't this commonsense? And can I point out that in the remote areas that produce the the bulk of WA's wealth, single lane is the norm.

  • Colin Fergusson 28/03/2018 11:19:39 PM
    Just another law in principal on paper will work, actual procedure probably not, I feel for those in your examples that were killed but you cant say they wouldn't have died if following your 40kph rule. No matter what you do people will always die on our roads, and if you think otherwise then tax payers are in for an expensive run if your in power.
    I have said many times before this is one of the worst countries I have ever driven in, the lack of road signage basic uphold of the rules ie KEEP LEFT, you can implement all yhese sagety measures but start with the basics. For instance the digital overhead information signs on the freeway, use wording that people can understand and perhaps use for Keep Left unless overtaking, but no there nearly always used to tell me that its double demerits time again !
    I would really like to know where your stats come from and from who! And further to that just how much they actually drive on the roads and not chauffeured driven.

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