Put safety first on the motorway
ROAD SAFETY organisation GEM Motoring Assist says the four motorway deaths at the start of the half-term getaway offer a grim reminder of how dangerous our high-speed roads can be.
Two fatal collisions occurred within an hour of each other on Saturday morning. In the first, a double-decker coach collided with a stationary car on the hard shoulder of the M1 in Bedfordshire, killing three people. The second, less than an hour later, involved 40 vehicles in fog on the M40. One person died and more than 40 people were injured.
GEM chief executive David Williams MBE comments: “Motorways are statistically our safest roads, but when something goes wrong, the high speeds involved usually mean the consequences will be more severe.
“Many thousands of families will be making half-term journeys this week. We encourage them to put safety first, be mindful of possible adverse weather conditions and take all necessary precautions to reduce risks on motorways.”
GEM has compiled useful hard shoulder safety information for motorway journeys:
• You may use the hard shoulder only in a breakdown, in an emergency or when directed to by a police officer.
• If your car develops a problem, leave the motorway at the next exit or pull into a service area.
• If you can’t make it to the next exit or a service area, then pull onto the hard shoulder and switch on your hazard lights. If possible, stop close to an emergency telephone.
• Don’t sit in your vehicle, even if it’s cold and wet. You are at risk of being struck from behind. Leave the vehicle through the left hand doors and wait on the verge, behind the crash barriers, away from live traffic lanes.
• Leave any pets securely inside the car. This ensures they don’t run free and cause a hazard to other vehicles.
• Never use the hard shoulder to take a break. This is extremely dangerous as well as illegal. Always pull in to a service station where you can park safely.
• Never attempt vehicle repairs yourself on the hard shoulder.