Calls for new rules to better protect roadside technicians are continuing to gather pace after two recent deaths and several major accidents on our motorways.
Industry experts leading the campaign say changes are needed to “reflect progress in vehicle and road design”.
With more than 500 miles of smart motorways now live and more planned to come in the next few years, there’s now fresh concerns that the removal of hard shoulders is increasing the dangers faced by roadside technicians.
Proposals for a new “slow down and move over” rule when passing broken down vehicles on motorways are being encouraged to protect breakdown, recovery and emergency services working on the hard shoulder.
A petition to improve safety procedures for recovery operatives has so far attracted more than 11,500 signatures.
However, the government believes there is already “robust regulation in place that includes provisions for the safety of workers on the roadside, including roadside recovery drivers.”
Following an incident involving an RAC patrol van last year, RAC health and safety consultant, Steve Robinson said: “The RAC is calling on drivers to ‘slow down, make space and move on’ when passing motorway breakdowns leaving plenty of space between their car and any vehicles and people on the hard shoulder.
“With traffic volumes rising and several recent serious accidents involving roadside assistance patrols and breakdown contractors we need motorists to consider a new approach to how they drive past stricken vehicles, drivers and passengers, and those working in vulnerable locations.”
Commenting on GW, reader Tim said: “I have worked in the breakdown recovery industry for a number of years now and the proposed “slow down, move over” law campaign has been running in the UK for many years, but the government fail to recognise the need for it.
“Everyone working at the roadside deserves to get home to their loved ones, whether it be a breakdown operative, a BT engineer or refuse collector.
“Drivers fail to realise the possible implications of not slowing down, and this highlights one of many incidents and deaths that have occurred in the last 12 months.
“This law needs to be passed to save lives.”
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