RACV has called on VicRoads to better explain new road rules and to alert the public to new rules well in advance, to ensure road users are well aware of changes and understand them fully.
The call comes after VicRoads announced a significant new rule less than two weeks before it is to become law on 1 July.
The rule that traffic must slow to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles, which is designed to help save emergency workers’ lives, has proven contentious with many road users.
Dave Jones, manager roads and traffic for RACV, says: “RACV strongly supports the need to protect our emergency workers and the need for sensible rules that save lives and prevent injuries on Victoria’s roads.
“However, to be fair to all road users, any changes to the law should be broadly publicised in a wide variety of media and channels well in advance of those changes taking place.
“It is not fair to the vast majority of Victorian road users to just announce a major new rule with a media release, webpage and a social media post. People need to be informed of changes well in advance through government-funded mass advertising, particularly when failing to observe the rule may see people injured, killed or fined,” Mr Jones says.
Fines for breaking the new road rule are $277. More rule changes are expected before 1 July.
Mr Jones says: “Ignorance of the law is not a defence so the State Government should give people a fair chance to learn and understand the new laws.”
Changes to road rules - effective 1 July 2017
The State Government announced a number of other changes to road rules in the days leading up to 1 July. We have explained them here.