The AA, RAC and Green Flag are calling for new guidance to protect roadside patrols after three mechanics were killed in 12 months.
The three companies co-wrote a letter to road safety minister Jesse Norman MP asking for a new “slow down, move over” rule to be implemented.
The proposal would require drivers to reduce their speed and change their road position whenever they pass a broken-down car or a recovery vehicle with its flashing amber beacons turned on, reducing the risk of anyone standing at the roadside being injured.
The breakdown companies have also called for a THINK! road safety campaign to highlight the dangers faced by patrols and stranded motorists during roadside breakdowns.
“Slow down, move over”
The most recent roadside technician death was that of 33-year-old David Stokes, who worked for the RAC and was killed on June 16 when he was hit by a car while repairing a vehicle on the A617 at Rainworth, Nottinghamshire.
Two other roadside technicians also lost their lives in the previous 12 months and, additionally, the organisations report “numerous roadside incidents” having occurred over the course of the last year.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “Between our organisations we have seen too many near misses and too many fatalities caused by this problem.
“That needs to change quickly.
“‘Slow down, move over’ is not a difficult request, but this simple act of kindness will make a world of difference to vulnerable drivers, patrols and road workers alike.”
James Knight, chief operations officer at the RAC, commented: “In light of the recent fatalities, we now urgently need the government to work with us to raise awareness of the issue among drivers and to promote a ‘slow down, move over’ message.
“This must be backed by a high-profile publicity campaign and a change to the Highway Code.”
Many GW readers have supported calls to better protect roadside technicians with new ‘slow down, move over’ rules.
Commenting on the GW forum earlier this year, 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.”
Have you or anyone you know experienced a close call while out on recovery? Share your concerns and experiences below or email [email protected].