It took just one day after Victoria's new 40km/h speed limit when passing emergency vehicles was introduced before a big truck slammed into the rear of a small sedan.
Events leading up to the frightening collision in Bacchus Marsh began when a police divvy-van stopped along the Melbourne-bound lane of the Western Highway near the Lerderderg River bridges to assist a broken down car about 7pm on Sunday.
The driver of an approaching Toyota saw police lights and proceeded to slow down, adhering to the new rule that came into effect on Saturday that requires drivers to slow to 40km/h when passing parked emergency vehicles.
But a big Hino truck travelling behind it failed to slow down and smashed into the rear-end of the Toyota at high speed. Bacchus Marsh-based Leading Senior Constable Shaun Woodhouse said it was lucky nobody was seriously injured as the Toyota was written off.
He called on all drivers to be aware of the new speed limits while passing emergency workers.
"The Toyota driver has slowed down because of the new laws but the truck behind saw it too late," he said.
Highway Patrol officers said they would issue several infringement notices to the truckie.
The crash was the subject of an ongoing investigation.
The RACV has previously raised concerns about the new rule, with its roads and traffic manager Dave Jones saying last month that the law needed to be more clearly explained to road users.
"In some situations, for example high-speed country roads that have got hills, they're undulating roads and sharp bends," he told radio station 3AW.
"It may be very difficult for someone to see the flashing emergency vehicles' lights far enough in advance so they can slow down to 40 in time.
“And if they do manage to slam on the anchors ... will any vehicle behind them be able to do it?"