Driver and Dubbo mayor Ben Shields has given his support to a call to introduce 40km/h speed zones for road users when travelling past emergency incidents.
The Rural Fire Service Association (RFSA) is pleading with the government to bring in the change to improve safety for emergency service workers.
The peak body for volunteer firefighters says when its members and others respond to fires, crashes and other incidents, they come under threat from passing motorists.
It has written to the state’s 128 local councils to inform them of the risks volunteers face and the need for action.
“Our volunteers - and every emergency service worker in NSW - face enough risks every day and shouldn’t have to worry about being hit by a passing vehicle,” RFSA president Ken Middleton said in November.
On Thursday Cr Shields said putting 40km/h speed zones around emergency incidents was “a great idea” and should have been introduced years ago.
“The logic is if we have experts in the field saying we need to change policy, we should follow that expert advice,” he said.
Cr Shields likened the measure to NSW’s 40km/h school zones.
“Again, the reality is I’m just a driver, if we have road safety experts and people from the emergency services industry saying we have a problem, it’s something we need to consider,” he said.
Cr Shields said he would be keen to take the matter to the council for support.
The RFSA’s ‘Protect the Protectors’ campaign has already been bolstered by letters of support from a number of councils across NSW, including Mid-Western Regional Council and Bourke Shire Council.
“I am pleased to advise that council has written to the NSW Premier and ministers, as requested, in support of this initiative of the RFSA,” Mid-Western Regional Council general manager Brad Cam said in a letter to the RFSA, published on the RFSA website.
“It is paramount that the safety of the everyday men and women who respond to emergency incidents is upheld.”
At the start of this month, the RFSA said it was pleased the campaign to improve road safety for emergency service workers continued to gain momentum.
“It has been encouraging to receive expressions of support from numerous stakeholders about the importance of this initiative,” it said on its website.
The RFSA points to reduced speed limit zones around emergency incidents already being in place in a number of states.
The WA government recently announced “Slow Down, Move Over” laws would take effect from March this year.