Motorists are warned they could break the Highway Code and be eligible for fines as high as £5,000 if they use the hard shoulder for non emergencies. Hard shoulders are separate lanes placed on the side of many motorways which act as a safe space for motorists who may have broken down or suffered a car crash.
However, using the lanes to make an important telephone call or going to the toilet by the side of the road could be illegal and lead to fines.
Walking on a hard shoulder or asking to be collected at the side of the ride is also against the rules and can see road users issues with charges.
Rule 270 of the Highway Code states: “You MUST NOT stop on the carriageway, hard shoulder, slip road, central reservation or verge except in an emergency.
“Or when told to do so by the police, HA traffic officers in uniform, an emergency sign or by flashing red light signals.
Road users are warned a blank sign or red cross above the hard shoulder means it cannot be used except for emergencies.
Using the hard shoulder inappropriately or for any reason which is not considered an emergency will see motorists issued with charges.
Penalties are likely to begin with a £100 fine and up to three points on a driving licence although costs could rise in extreme cases.
If your actions have caused an accident or were considered to put other road users at extreme risk police officers could issue a charge of dangerous driving.
This could see motorists summoned to a court hearing where fines of up to £5,000 can be issued alongside nine penalty points and a temporary driving ban.
Figures for Highways England have revealed over 100 people are killed or seriously injured on hard shoulders each year.
The lanes are particularly dangerous as there is no further protection from active lanes and stricken cars may be unsighted by traffic.
The Code says it is against the law to walk on a motorway except in an emergency and road users who need to use a roadside phone should take extreme caution.
Pets should remain inside a vehicle at all times on a hard shoulder as removing them could cause an unnecessary distraction to other road users.
Removing an animal from a car will see motorists fined up to £2,500 and issued up to six points on their driving licence.
Experts at Ingenie say motorists who need to use a hard shoulder should make sure they park as far to the left as possible while making sure a car’s wheels are turned away from the traffic.
Stricken drivers should switch on their vehicles warning lights as soon as possible and make sure they get out of the vehicle quickly from the left passenger door.
This is vital for safety as motorists will be leaving the vehicle away from oncoming traffic and should make their way onto a grass verge as quickly as they can.
Ingenie says drivers should stay behind the barrier and as far away from traffic as possible until help arrives.
Published at Tue, 16 Jun 2020 12:31:00 +0000