New road rules are being introduced to protect emergency workers on Victoria roads.

From July 1, drivers must safely slow to 40km/h when passing a stationary or slow-moving emergency vehicle that is responding to an emergency with flashing lights or a siren sounding.

After passing the vehicle, drivers should not increase speed again until reaching a safe distance from the scene.

The rules are being introduced by the Andrews Labor Government so emergency workers can do their job without fear of being hit by passing traffic.

A number of emergency workers have been killed and injured on Victorian roads after being struck by passing vehicles or debris.

The new rule will apply to Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, County Fire Authority and State Emergency Service vehicles. It also applies to VicRoads Transport Safety Service vehicles with magenta flashing lights.

The rule is consistent with existing 40 km/h speed limit requirements in other areas where vulnerable road users are present, including roadwork sites and school zones.

The fine for an infringement of the new road rule is $277 and the maximum court penalty is $793. No demerit points apply.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, said: “Emergency Services workers are telling us that they feel in danger while they’re doing their job – we’ve listened to them and made these changes to protect the people who are out there protecting the community.”

“Most people already do the right thing and slow down when we see flashing lights ahead, but this new rule will make sure that everyone passes at a safe speed.”