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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Worst hard shoulder excuses: Motorist is running late and needs to evade traffic

    The law says hard shoulders on motorways should not be driven or stopped on unless:

    • There is an emergency (like a car breaking down) or
    • The ‘lane’ is opened to traffic (usually by a speed limit above it) to reduce congestion during peak traffic times

    Stopping or driving on hard shoulders at any other time is illegal, could cause vehicle collisions, or get people hurt in car accidents killed. Excuses like ‘I was running late and needed to evade traffic’ simply do not cut it with police and will result in fines.

    Emergency vehicles

    There are good reasons why motorists should not use hard shoulders illegally. First of all, the hard shoulder allows emergency vehicles to reach the scene of a road traffic accident quickly. If this access route is blocked by someone stopping to take pictures, renew their car insurance or even sell their car (yes, all of these are actual excuses used by motorists caught illegally stopping on hard shoulders), people could die because they did not get the help they needed as soon as possible.


    The hard shoulder gives people a reasonably safe place to stop if a car breaks down and can not be moved to the nearest exit or service station. Drivers using this lane to ‘evade’ traffic jams could easily cause road accidents and potentially serious personal injuries by crashing into the back of broken down vehicles.

    Think about it

    So, the next time you consider stopping on a hard shoulder to pick wild flowers, read a map or take a nap (unbelievably also ‘real’ excuses) or using it to get past a traffic jam, think about how you would feel if:

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    • Someone you love died because they were seriously hurt in an accident on the road and emergency vehicles could not reach them in time to save them because of someone like you.
    • You or your children were injured or killed if someone crashed into the back of your broken down car.

    There is no excuse for using hard shoulders illegally, ever.

    Your right to claim

    If you or a family member were hurt or killed because someone used a hard shoulder illegally or caused any other traffic related accident you were involved in, you may be entitled to injury compensation. Accident Advice Helpline can get you that compensation quickly and under conditional fee agreements. Contact us today.

    Date Published: September 30, 2014

    Author: Accident Advice

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.