Taking photographs, having a sleep and stopping to pick flowers are just some of the reasons given by motorists for non-emergency stops on motorway hard shoulders. 8,655 cases of drivers stopping on hard shoulders in non-emergency situations were recorded in 2012, according to the Highways Agency.
A campaign has today been launched to stop drivers misusing the hard shoulder on sections of the M6 and M42 in the Midlands. Latest figures show that an average of up to 250 vehicles use the hard shoulder illegally on the M6 and M42 every day.
– Jamie Hassall, Highways Agency national enforcement co-ordinator
I hope that all road users hearing about this will start to correctly use the hard shoulder, follow the overhead signs displayed and drive safely.
Whether drivers are doing this because they are unaware or deliberately trying to exit the motorway more quickly, they are putting themselves and others at risk.
Driving on the hard shoulder when it is not available for use could lead to collisions with vehicles who have stopped in an emergency or with the breakdown and emergency services who have stopped there to offer assistance.