Slow down for breakdown vehicles

SLOW DOWN: RAA senior manager safety & infrastructure Charles Mountain is supportive of the proposed legislation. Picture: FILE.

A 25KM/H speed limit could soon come into effect when passing roadside breakdown and recovery vehicles when their lights are flashing.

The legislation has been introduced to parliament by the state government, with the aim to protect breakdown service workers on the job.

RAA Road Service data showed there were 20 reportable safety incidents caused by cars driving past breakdowns without due care in the past four years.

Of these incidents, five involved RAA patrol vans being hit by a car or motorcycle, and another five where traffic cones were hit or dragged down the road.

The proposed speed limit does not apply if the stationary breakdown services vehicle is on the opposite side of the road of travel.

Failure to comply may result in a fine and demerit points, determined by level of speed, and drivers could face a maximum court penalty of up to $2500.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Tom Koutsantonis said the measure is “common sense” way to protect RAA workers.

“A vehicle breakdown is not only inconvenient, it can also create an unsafe situation for the driver and their passengers, as well as the professionals who come to help,” he said.

“While roadside workers do what they can to make the breakdown safe site and keep everyone at a safe distance, inattentive driving – and going past too fast – can have dire consequences for all.”

RAA senior manager safety & infrastructure Charles Mountain encouraged the speed reduction.

“Almost every South Australian motorist would have a story about when they were rescued at the roadside by an RAA patrol,” he said.

“No-one chooses when or where they break down, and we welcome any measure that helps keep our patrols, members and the community safe at the roadside.

“We’ve seen dozens of near misses and our patrol vans have been hit five times over the last several years so it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed.”