40km/h: Protect Our Emergency Services
For almost six months Philip Donato has campaigned for 40km/h speed limits around emergency services on roads. While the Nationals Roads Minister dithered, a Police Officer is in hospital.
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Member for Orange Philip Donato called-out Roads Minister Melinda Pavey for not acting sooner to improve the safety for Police and emergency services working by the road side, despite him raising the issue for nearly six months.
This follows a critical incident on Friday night where two Police Officers were seriously injured, one having their leg amputated, after being allegedly hit by a distracted driver in Sydney’s southwest while the Officers operating a random breath test site.
“How many more of our brave Police and emergency services workers and volunteers need to be killed or injured before the Roads Minister will act?” Mr Donato said.
“Last Friday’s critical incident in Sydney could easily happen out here on a country road if Minister Pavey continues to ignore the situation.
“Our Police, Ambulance, and Fire and Rescue personnel are all at risk, as are our NSW State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service and St John Ambulance Volunteers.
“This could be somebody’s father, mother, son, or daughter who’s next placed at risk while working to keep the community safe. These people put their lives on the line for us, the least we can do is slow down for their safety.
“40km/h speed limits already exist for road work sites, school zones and school bus stop zones for safety reasons, why can’t we extend those to areas where Police and emergency service personnel working on or near a roadway?
“After concerns from local Rural Fire Service volunteers were raised with my office, I wrote to the roads Minister calling for a 40km/h speed limit near Police and emergency service operations but did not receive a satisfactory response.
“I then drafted two questions on notice in the Parliament. One has not been answered yet, and in the other, the Minister dodges the question.”
Minister Pavey’s response to Mr Donato’s question on 40km/h speed limits was as follows:
“Any proposed change to the New South Wales road rules needs to be carefully considered”.
Donato's Campaign: The Story So Far
12 September 2017:
Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party Member for Orange Philip Donato writes to Roads Minister Melinda Pavey calling for a 40km/h speed limit to be implemented in the vicinity of emergency service vehicles and personnel on roadways who are responding to emergencies. This would include Police.
Mr Donato’s letter followed a request for action from local Rural Fire Service volunteers in the Central West.
21 November 2017:
After not receiving a satisfactory answer from the Minister, Mr Donato submitted the following question on notice in the Parliament:
7187 - Safety of Rural Fire Service and Emergency Services Personnel
(1) When can I expect a response to my letter of 12 September 2017 on behalf of my constituent regarding safety of Rural Fire Service and emergency services personnel on roads?
(2) Will consideration be given to providing increased safety to our emergency services personnel by implementing a 40 kilometres per hour speed limit for vicinities of emergency service vehicles and personnel on roadways who are responding to emergencies?
21 December 2017:
Roads Minister Melinda Pavey responded to Mr Donato’s question on notice:
I am advised:
(1) A response has been provided.
(2) Any proposed change to the New South Wales road rules needs to be carefully considered, particularly in terms of safety and enforcement.
7 February 2018:
Mr Donato then drafted a second question on notice to Minister Pavey concerning the same topic:
Is consideration being given to implementing a 40 kilometres per hour, or other reduced speed, speed limit for vicinities of emergency service vehicles and personnel on roadways which are responding to emergencies, so as to improve safety?
No answer has yet been provided by the Minister. An answer is due on 14 March 2018.
16 February 2018:
Two Police Officers are injured in southwest Sydney after being allegedly hit by a distracted driver in Sydney’s southwest while the Officers were operating a random breath test site.