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Emergency & breakdown vehicles

Slow Down, Move Over

Know the law
Slow Down, Move Over banner featuring emergency workers.

Workers attending roadside incidents can be risky business. To make it safer for them, remember the law: flashing lights on a stationary vehicle means approaching vehicles must slow down, move over (if possible) and pass at 40 kilometres per hour. Let's look after those who look after us.

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FAQs - Slow Down, Move Over (SLOMO)

The State Government has introduced the SLOMO law to improve the road safety of people attending roadside emergencies in Western Australia.

The new law requires motorists to reduce speed to a maximum of 40km/h when passing incident response vehicles with flashing lights and, where possible and safe to do so, move to the next lane.

Failure to slow down and move over$3003
What does SLOMO mean?
SLOMO stands for Slow Down, Move Over. The intent of the new law is to provide a safer environment for workers who respond to road incidents.

The SLOMO law requires drivers to slow down to 40 km/h when approaching specific stationary emergency vehicles which are displaying flashing lights while attending an incident.

Drivers should apply their brakes gradually and safely.
Who does SLOMO apply to?
SLOMO applies to all emergency service vehicles and first response personnel who need to attend to roadside incidents very quickly.  Their priority is the safety and survival of the person requiring assistance.
As well as emergency vehicles, SLOMO includes tow trucks, RAC roadside assistance patrol vehicles, and Main Roads Incident Response Vehicles, which assist with the removal of broken down vehicles and debris.
When should I ‘move over’ into the next lane?
Where there are multiple lanes travelling in the same direction, and it is safe to do so, drivers should also move to another lane to give the incident response workers more room.
Where does SLOMO apply?
SLOMO applies to all roads in WA, including freeways and highways.
Who needs to slow down?
Drivers in ALL lanes travelling in the same direction as the lane or emergency lane where the emergency or incident response vehicles with flashing lights are stopped will be required to safely slow down and travel at no more than 40km/h when passing.
Why are all lanes moving in the same direction required to slow down?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that when there is a road incident or breakdown drivers/riders often observe the event and may be distracted as a result. This is particularly risk on high speed roads and also along the country road network.
Do I need to slow down if I am driving on the other side of the road?
Vehicles travelling in oncoming traffic from the other direction will not be required to slow down. 

However, if there is an incident that has occurred in the middle of the road or on a median strip for instance, traffic in both directions would be required to slow down if lanes in both directions are affected by an incident.
What is the penalty for breaking the SLOMO laws?
The penalty for this offence is three demerit points and $300.
How is the government monitoring SLOMO?
The Road Safety Commission is overseeing a comprehensive two year monitoring and evaluation of SLOMO. This will capture trends and issues in relation to:
  • The safety of incident response personnel;
  • Driver behaviour and changes over time;
  • Community education effectiveness; and
  • Any unintended consequences such as secondary crashes and impacts on traffic congestion.

Community feedback is a key input into the monitoring of SLOMO. The Commission welcomes all community feedback (positive and negative) and invites you to submit any feedback via
If a driver mistakenly believes a vehicle to be an incident response vehicle and slows to 40km/hr when it is not actually required, is that driver then committing an offence by going slower then 20km/hr below the speed limit?
No. There is provision in the Road Traffic Code for speeds more than 20km under the speed limit in certain circumstances. This includes safety and traffic congestion.
The prescribed speed for passing an emergency vehicle is 40 km/h. But I have noticed incident response vehicles with signs on the back displaying a higher speed limit. In this case, is it permissible to pass the vehicle at that higher speed?
Signs on vehicles do not override other speed limits and drivers should always comply with the lowest speed limit in that situation.

Slow Down, Move Over video

Failure to give way

Police, fire and ambulance vehicles are emergency vehicles.

On Western Australian roads you must clear the way to allow every emergency vehicle using blue or red flashing lights and/or sounding an alarm to easily pass. When an emergency vehicle is approaching:

  • Stay calm and check to see where it is.
  • Give way to it by moving as far to the left of the road as possible.
  • If you can’t move left, slow down, indicate left and let the emergency vehicle drive around you.
  • Use your indicator to signal your intentions to the driver of the emergency vehicle.
  • If you are in the left lane, allow other vehicles from an adjacent lane to move into your lane if they need to.

When giving way to an emergency vehicle DO NOT break the law (e.g. Drive through a red light or speed).

Failure to give way to an emergency vehicle$4004

The information available on our website provides a simple interpretation of the law and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Full details of traffic offences and penalties are contained in the Road Traffic Code 2000.

Failure to give way video