05 APRIL 2023 – The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) South Australian branch has called on the Malinauskas government to pass 'Slow Down, Move Over' laws to protect roadside assistance workers.
AMWU members working in roadside assistance are often put at risk by drivers speeding or driving recklessly past roadside assistance work zones. 'Slow Down, Move Over' laws would establish a speed limit of 40km/h past roadside assistance work zones on roads where the speed limit is 80km/h or less and require drivers to reasonably reduce their speed on roads where the speed limit is over 80km/h. The laws would also require drivers to move as far over in their lane as possible to minimise the risk to roadside assistance workers and members of the public.
Variations of these laws have been enacted in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania, providing a safer work environment for roadside assistance workers.
AMWU South Australia state secretary Peter Bauer said:
"We're calling on Peter Malinauskas and the government to bring in 'Slow Down, Move Over' laws and commit to protecting roadside assistance workers.
"We've been campaigning for this for 20 years. In 2003, RAA patroller John Kalionis was nearly killed by a driver who hit his roadside assistance vehicle. Our campaign to make roadside worksites safer back then spurred legislative change in other states – which, ironically, are now far ahead of South Australia in this regard.
"Roadside assistance workers are at greater risk than ever. Our members have reported 17 near-misses in the last four years, including cars hitting the side of roadside assistance vans and drivers narrowly missing workers as they set up traffic cones on the road. Without these laws, it's only a matter of time before someone is killed or seriously hurt.
"New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania all have similar laws in place. We need to get up to speed with the rest of the country and Slow Down, Move Over. The safety of our roadside assistance workers depends on it."
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