Breakdown recovery vehicles permitted to use red flashing lights to protect drivers

Breakdown recovery vehicles permitted to use red flashing lights to protect drivers
The Government’s Plan for Drivers policy paper has stated that breakdown recovery vehicles will now be allowed to use red flashing lights when helping the public.

The document highlighted that breakdown vehicles will be allowed to have permitting red flashing lights to help to protect recovery drivers by making them more visible at the roadside.

This measure will apply to England, Scotland, and Wales.

RAC chief operations officer Dom Shorrocks said: “This is an important milestone in the improvement of safety for the roadside assistance industry.

“We’ve long been calling for roadside assistance workers and recovery drivers, including our own, to be allowed to use red flashing lights alongside the customary amber ones to alert motorists to their presence. In fact, we again raised the issue with the Secretary of State in the summer, urging him to take action. This announcement is therefore very good news for our industry and for the drivers we serve as it will unequivocally improve the visibility of roadside workers and help save lives. 

“There have been too many tragic collisions where lives have been lost involving stationary recovery vehicles at the sides of high-speed roads, and where more prominent red lights might have made a difference. As soon as the law is changed, we’ll make sure all of our teams can start using red flashing lights as quickly as possible.”

According to the paper, ‘road recovery operators provide a crucial service to stranded drivers and support the economy by getting goods moving and preventing the build-up of congestion on our busy road network to help journeys flow more smoothly’.

This is why the Government will now permit the use of rear-facing red flashing lamps by road recovery operators – such as the RAC.

In the foreword to the paper, from Transport Secretary Mark Harper, highlighted the importance of vehicles for people of all ages across the UK – but stated that change was needed to help with both safety, increasing electric vehicle (EV) adoption, and reaching the nation’s Net Zero goals.

Through ‘responding to drivers’ priorities’, Harper wanted the paper to help drivers with the cost of living and tackle the rising cost of fuel.

The paper showed that the Government has invested more than £41.6bn in ‘investment into the strategic road network’. This includes funding for road safety campaigns and creating new infrastructure to support zero emission cars.

Public transport, parking issues, and stopping unfair enforcement for drivers were also discussed in greater detail.

What do you make of the paper and the announcement? Leave your comments below.

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