Speed Limits and Emergency Vehicles

These rules have been around for some time now, but they are not standard in each state or territory.

Basically when an emergency vehicle – ambulance, police, fire engine, tow truck and any other designated emergency vehicle has:

–Red and Blue flashing lights

–Magenta (purple flashing lights)

–An alarm sounding

(Some include stationary by the side of the road and travelling under 10kp/h).

All drivers have to slow down safely to 40kph to pass those emergency vehicles, except in SA where it is 25kph.

If the emergency vehicles are on a road with a median strip and the emergency vehicle is on the other side of the median strip you do not have to slow down. This appears to be standard across all states with this legislation. There are links for each state so you can check details personally.



All drivers have to slow to 40km/h to pass emergency services vehicles that’s on
the side of the road and have their lights flashing, from Saturday 14th April 2018.


As of 1st July 2017, drivers must not exceed 40km/h when passing the emergency vehicles and not increase speed until a safe distance from the scene. A fire truck extinguishing roadside spot fires is an example of a slow moving emergency vehicle.


The State Government SLOMO requires motorists to carefully 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. SLOMO applies to all roads in WA, including freeways and highways.


A road rule has changed 26th September 2019.

The trial of a rule that required motorists to slow down to 40km/h when passing stationary emergency vehicles with flashing blue or red lights has been completed. A review has resulted in a change to the road rules which requires motorists to carefully reduce speed to 40km/h when passing emergency vehicles.


A lengthy examination of Queensland Road Rules has so far failed the discover any reference to legislation covering slowing down to pass stationary emergency vehicles.


Drivers are required to travel at 25km/h when driving through an emergency service speed zone. This law came into effect on 1st September 2014. SA Source


The law has changed in Tasmania. According to the current 2019 Tasmania Road Rules, page 23, you must slow to 40kmh when passing emergency vehicles.


After a lengthy search the only mention of emergency vehicles is what to do when you see/hear one and how to get out of the way. See page 70 of the NT Government Road rules.