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.
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:
- 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