A new rule of the road rolls out next month in Alberta.

Starting on September 1, drivers in the lane closest to a stopped vehicle with flashing lights will either have to slow to 60 km/h when passing, or change to a further lane.

At the moment, the rule under the Traffic Safety Act only applies to tow truck drivers and first responders.

Speaking at a press event on Tuesday morning, Transportation and Economic Corridors Minister Devin Dreeshen said the new rule is supposed to remove any ambiguity and provide all roadside workers and first responders the same protections.

"Right now, you have to say "Who is on the side of the road and what are they doing? Are they a roadside maintenance worker? Are they a tow truck driver? Are they an ambulance?' While you're driving 110 down Highway 2. This rule change will make it all the same, so regardless of the colour of flashing light, regardless of who is actually working on the side of the road, if you're a driver on an Alberta highway and see flashing lights, the rules are the same."

The regulation was originally set to take effect in March and would have applied to every lane of the highway, not just the one closest to the stopped vehicle.

Just before it was going to take effect, it was pushed back to September.

When asked why the change was made, Dreeshen said it was altered after further consultation with Albertans.

"When we engaged with our roadside worker safety, with the department, to make sure that there's a free flow of traffic regardless of what's happening on the side of the road., this was the best solution we came up with, to know that it's 60 km/h whatever the roadside worker or the work that's being done on the side of the road."

According to Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board, there were 2,229 injuries involving workers being struck by a vehicle between 2014 and 2018.