Thursday, 7 August 2014

I thought the car was on fire: bizarre reasons for stopping on the motorway . . .


I thought the car was on fire: bizarre reasons for stopping on the motorway

Cited at:
A driver abandoned his car on a motorway thinking it was about to burst into flames, only to realise that the word "Fire" that had appeared on his dashboard referred to an Adele song on the stereo.

The man was listening to the song Set Fire to the Rain when he stopped abruptly, the Highways Agency said. It was one of many odd reasons motorists gave for stopping illegally on motorways.

The agency said one couple, when asked if they had broken down, replied that they were taking pictures of their newborn grandchild in their open-top sports car as it was "a lovely day".

Other instances of illegal stopping on motorway hard shoulders include people picking flowers, renewing their insurance and even trying to sell their car.

On another occasion, traffic officers found two cars on the hard shoulder, with the owners halfway through the selling and buying process for one of the cars.

Other instances have included:

  • A motorist who parked up and fell asleep on the M6;
  • A group of motorcyclists who parked on the hard shoulder on the M1 to review their route and have a drink;
  • A mobile phone operator, stopping at regular intervals in his private car carrying out signal tests on the hard shoulder.

The agency said that between July and September 2013, a total of 2,062 drivers stopped on the hard shoulder when there was no emergency – an illegal act.

It is also illegal to drive under a red X sign which is displayed when the lane ahead is closed.

Jamie Hassall, Highways Agency national enforcement coordinator, said: "Every day, millions of people use our motorways. Most of them use the hard shoulder correctly and don't ignore red Xs, but we are appealing to the few who put themselves, other road users and those working on motorways at risk.

"Where the hard shoulder is used as an additional traffic lane at peak times, you can only drive on it if there is a speed limit over it. When a red X is displayed over any lane, it's simple – don't drive on it."

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