Drivers who do not slow down to 40km/h for emergency services will be targeted in a police operation this week.

Police will begin the operation in Darebin, Banyule, Nillumbik and Whittlesea over the coming days.

On the announcement of the operation, Sergeant Simon Borg said “The roadside is dangerous and we need this rule to protect our people – near misses are far too common.’’

“Slowing for those few short seconds allows us to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“When dealing with life-threatening situations on the roadside, the behaviour of passing motorists can make all the difference in someone living or dying.”

A recent study from Road Safety Victoria found about 80 per cent of motorists are aware of the road rule but only 38 per cent slowed to 40km/h on high-speed roads.

Anybody who fails to slow down to 40km/h when passing emergency services may receive a $289 fine.