A Wodonga truck driver believes the new speed limit laws in Victoria will cost lives

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Travis Tilker is terrified his 45.5 tonne truck will plough through a family car and he will be powerless to stop the carnage. 

The Wodonga-based truck driver, 21, regularly drives across Victoria and believes the new 40km/h speed limit when passing emergency vehicles will result in fatalities. 

Mr Tilker’s warning comes after a truck slammed into the rear of a small sedan in Bacchus Marsh, near Ballarat, only a day after the law was introduced. 

He was especially concerned about crashes occurring on country, windy, hilly or single-lane roads, where trucks struggling to brake quickly.

“The car in front of you slows to 40km/h and I'm behind them in my truck weighing 45.5 tonne and can't stop in time,” Mr Tilker said.

“Unless you drive a truck you don't understand how hard it is to wipe 60 kilometres off your speed in so little time.

“Going down a hill it can take 30 metres to wipe off 60 kilometres – if you brake too hard you’ll just lock and slide along the road.

“Innocent lives will be lost, it's only a matter of time – would you want your family in front of me in that car?”

Mr Tilker said it was important emergency services were not in danger but trucks needed warning to brake, or else drivers were at risk. 

RACV general manager of public policy Brian Negus called for a review into the controversial new speed limit and said the body was concerned about the lack of notice given to road users.

He said the RACV was concerned about the feasibility of vehicles slowing to 40km/h on roads with a speed limit of 100km/h.

However, the NSW Rural Fire Service Association president Ken Middleton called for the state to adopt a law in line with Victoria or South Australia.

“More needs to be done to protect emergency workers on the road,” Mr Middleton said.

“It is the same law we use in other areas of the community where vulnerable road users are present, like school zones, school buses and roadwork sites.”