New rules and regulations which have come out for the general public now mean that when it comes to breakdown services, recovery vehicles will now be able to alert the public to their duties by being able to use red flashing lights as a form of warning.
The document now tells us that all breakdown vehicles will be allowed to use red flashing lights to make themselves more visible on the roadside. This is a protective measure which has been designed to help protect the recovery drivers from the risk of harm. They can then use the lights to remind the public that there is usually someone moving between the vehicles and to take extra care.
The Wisdom of Experts
Dom Shorrocks is the chief operations officer for the RAC, and had the following to offer regarding the new policy: “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 traffic 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.”
Improved Steps for Protecting People
The paper itself makes reference to “road recovery operators” who “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”. Perhaps this is key to understanding why the government has suddenly allowed a spate of new rules and restrictions into the world of recovery vehicles.
It is thought to be a way of making the roads much safer, but also for furthering the objectives laid out by other aspects of the government. Mark Harper is the transport secretary for the UK, and wrote the foreword for the paper, and stressed how important it was to not only improve safety, but also to try and increase the number of people using electric vehicles and to reach the Net Zero goals the UK has.
The paper shows how the government has invested more than £42bn into a “strategic road network”, and created funding for new safety campaigns and making new infrastructure to support zero emission cars. The results of this investment are yet to be seen.