Right Driver

Breakdowns and incidents: Additional rules for motorways

Rule 275

If your vehicle develops a problem, leave the motorway at the next exit or pull into a service area. If you cannot do so, you should:

  • pull on to the hard shoulder and stop as far to the left as possible, with your wheels turned to the left
  • try to stop near an emergency telephone (situated at approximately one-mile intervals along the hard shoulder)
  • leave the vehicle by the left-hand door and ensure your passengers do the same. You MUST leave any animals in the vehicle or, in an emergency, keep them under proper control on the verge. Never attempt to place a warning triangle on a motorway
  • do not put yourself in danger by attempting even simple repairs
  • ensure that passengers keep away from the carriageway and hard shoulder, and that children are kept under control
  • walk to an emergency telephone on your side of the carriageway (follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder) – the telephone is free of charge and connects directly to the Highways Agency or the police. Use these in preference to a mobile phone (see Rule 283). Always face the traffic when you speak on the phone
  • give full details to the Highways Agency or the police; also inform them if you are a vulnerable motorist such as disabled, older or travelling alone
  • return and wait near your vehicle (well away from the carriageway and hard shoulder)
  • if you feel at risk from another person, return to your vehicle by a left-hand door and lock all doors. Leave your vehicle again as soon as you feel this danger has passed.
    Laws MT(E&W)R reg 14 & MT(S)R reg 12

highway-code-rule-275-hard-shoulder

Rule 276

Before you rejoin the carriageway after a breakdown, build up speed on the hard shoulder and watch for a safe gap in the traffic. Be aware that other vehicles may be stationary on the hard shoulder.

Rule 277

If you cannot get your vehicle onto the hard shoulder:

  • do not attempt to place any warning device on the carriageway
  • switch on your hazard warning lights
  • leave your vehicle only when you can safely get clear of the carriageway.

Rule 278

Disabled drivers. If you have a disability which prevents you from following the above advice you should:

  • stay in your vehicle
  • switch on your hazard warning lights
  • display a ‘Help’ pennant or, if you have a car or mobile telephone, contact the emergency services and be prepared to advise them of your location.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

Posted in Highway Code

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