The Highways Agency has released a list of the top 10 most inappropriate reasons that drivers have given for stopping on a motorway hard shoulder. Topping the list, one driver pulled over after seeing “fire” on the dashboard and believing that their car was ablaze; not realising that this display was just showing part of Adele’s song title “Set fire to the rain”.
Stopping on a motorway hard shoulder is illegal unless there is a genuine emergency. Data from the Highways Agency shows that 2,062 drivers stopped on the hard shoulder in non-emergency situations between July and September last yearn in south-east England alone.
Other hard shoulder offenders include a driver found picking flowers, others seen with two cars, half way through the buying and selling process for one of them and a driver caught phoning around for insurance quotes after realising that their insurance was up for renewal.
Between September 2013 and April 2014 we sent over 700 letters to road users misusing the hard shoulder and we have had less than 20 repeat offences. We are extremely encouraged by the results so far.
Highways Agency staff also discovered grandparents parked up in their open top sports car to take photos of their newly born grandchild and a mobile phone operator who had been stopping at regular intervals to carry out signal tests on the hard shoulder. Another motorist was found asleep in their car on the M6.
Police have also warned drivers that they could face a fine and points on their licence if they misuse the hard shoulder, as driving on the hard shoulder is not only illegal but extremely unsafe.
Inspector Derek Roberts from the Central Motorway Police Group has said: “Between September 2013 and April 2014 we sent over 700 letters to road users misusing the hard shoulder and we have had less than 20 repeat offences. We are extremely encouraged by the results so far.”