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When may you stop on a motorway?

A In an emergency or breakdown

You should not normally stop on a motorway but there may be occasions when you need to do so. If you are unfortunate enough to break down, make every effort to pull up on the hard shoulder.

Related Information

When is it permitted to stop on a motorway?

On a motorway, you can only stop if:

- Red lights or other signs and signals tell you to stop.

- The police, Highway Agency Traffic Officers or Vehicle and Operator Service Agency Officers request that you stop.

- An emergency happens.

- Stopping prevents an accident.

Only make an emergency stop on the hard shoulder. Turn on your hazard warning lights to alert cars behind you of the obstruction ahead if you have to slow down or stop due to traffic congestion. Turn them off once you are certain that you have been seen.

What to do in case of breaking down on the motorway?

A motorway breakdown is a perilous situation to be in at any time. Here's what to do if it occurs to you:

- Park as far to the left as you can on the hard shoulder.

- Completely turn the steering wheel to the left to point the front wheels to the left in order to prevent your car from being pushed back onto the road if you are struck by another vehicle.

- Your hazard warning lights should be on. Turn on your sidelights if it is dark out or there is limited visibility.

- Use the left-hand doors to get out of your car and wait on the verge or as far away from the roadway as you can.

- Leave any animals in your car if you have any.

- Make an emergency service call. Use your mobile phone if you are between two intersections and are aware of your location. If you are unsure of where you are, go to the closest emergency phone and dial from there. This will pinpoint your location.

- Do not try to repair your vehicle.

- Wait for the emergency services on the grassy bank as far away from the carriageway as you can.

- Turn on your hazard warning lights if your car is unable to reach the hard shoulder. When it is absolutely safe, get out of your car. Remember that other vehicles on the road are probably moving at 70 mph. Move to the hard shoulder after exiting.


Hadeeza Femi-Yusuff

1 year ago


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1 year ago

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Natalia Joanna Witczak

1 year ago

Very good programme to use

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