Excuses Given For Illegally Stopping On Hard Shoulders

Thursday, 24. July 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

Years ago, a well-known comedian, Jasper Carrott, had a routine that included a part where he read out reasons given to an insurance company by drivers trying to explain the cause of their car accident. They all sounded ridiculous but apparently quite genuine and very funny.

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I was reminded of this routine whilst reading the causes given to the Highways Agency why people had stopped on the hard shoulder of a motorway. I should point out that it is illegal to stop on a hard shoulder unless there is an emergency. It is also illegal to drive down the lane of a motorway if a red X is displayed above it, something that is appearing more frequently as the Highways Agency open up hard shoulders for drivers to drive along at various times of the day.

Between July and September last year there were 2,062 instances of drivers braking the law by stopping on hard shoulders for reasons other than an actual emergencies. According to the Highways Agency, drivers that ignore the law could face a fine and points on their licence if they break either law.

The Central Motorway Police Group sent out over 700 letters to motorists misusing hard shoulders between September 2013 and April 2014 resulting in just 20% repeat offences. They seemed to be quite happy with that! Why aren’t they banning the drivers for 5 years for a repeat offence, ridiculous?


HA1-000949 (Photo credit: Highways Agency)

Anyway, here are the ten most dopey reasons given by drivers as to why they stopped on the hard shoulder:

  • One motorist pulled over because they saw fire” on their dashboard display, it later turned out it was the name of the Adele track they were listening to.
  • One motorist parked up and fell asleep on the M6.
  • People stopping to read a map or check their sat-navs.
  • Traffic officers stopped with two cars on the hard shoulder – the owners were half way through the selling and buying process for one of the cars.
  • One driver realised their car insurance policy was up for renewal – they were ringing around for quotes to renew.
  • A group of motorcyclists parked on the hard shoulder on the M1 to review their route and have a drink.
  • Taxi drivers waiting on the hard shoulder around Heathrow airport for their client’s flights to arrive.
  • A mobile phone operator, stopping at regular intervals in their private car carrying out signal tests on the hard shoulder.
  • A driver who stopped to pick flowers.
  • Have you broken down Sir? No, came the reply, we are taking pictures of our new born grandchild (in their open top sports car) as it is a lovely day.

Sadly not in the same league as Jasper Carrott, who is making a comeback by the way, but all pretty dopey and potentially dangerous! By Graham Hill

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