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Call for change to Highway Code to keep road workers safe

Three motoring groups are calling for a change to the Highway Code, to ensure road workers are kept safe.

The AA, RAC and Green Flag want to see a “slow down, move over” rule introduced when drivers pass a broken-down vehicle – or a recovery truck with flashing amber lights.

Three roadside technicians have been killed on the UK’s motorways in the last 12 months.

Edmund King, AA president says; “Standing at the side of a motorway is a frightening experience, but our patrols rescue stranded motorists daily in all weathers. Unfortunately their safety is being compromised by some who drive too fast and too close.

“Between our organisations we have seen too many near misses and too many fatalities caused by this problem. That needs to change quickly.

“Slow down, move over is not a difficult request, but this simple act of kindness will make a world of difference to vulnerable drivers, patrols and road workers alike.”

James Knight, chief operations officer for the RAC says; “Working or breaking down at the side of a busy road or motorway is a nerve-racking experience and one we know carries risks. We do everything we can to minimise the dangers and to ensure our patrols put their own safety and that of drivers and passengers first.

“But in light of the recent fatalities we now urgently need the Government to work with us to raise awareness of the issue among drivers and to promote a ‘slow down, move over’ message. This must be backed by a high-profile publicity campaign and a change to the Highway Code.

“Sadly, we have seen the human cost of such incidents. Earlier this year we lost one of our patrols while helping a member who had broken down on a dual carriageway. This was a tragic accident and a terrible shock to all of us at the RAC and we know it has affected colleagues in other organisations as well.”

Damon Jowett, head of service delivery at Green Flag, said; “Much investment has been undertaken to allow the continuous flow of traffic on the UK’s major roads, and motorways are becoming more responsive in real time to constantly manage the volumes of road users. 

“While this is a positive step in enabling road users to get to their destination more easily, rule changes and greater awareness is needed, to ensure roadside recovery workers on all roads including, motorways and main carriage ways are not left even more vulnerable”

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