AA calls for Highway Code update to include smart motorway rules

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The AA has proposed amendments to the Highway Code which it says would improve safety on motorways.

In a letter to Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman, the motoring organisation says the changes are needed to "reflect progress in vehicle and road design".

According to the AA, at present the Highway Code only considers breakdowns on motorways with a continuous hard shoulder, but there are now more than 500 miles of 'smart' motorway -- some of which have hard-shoulder running at peak times, or no hard shoulder at all but Emergency Refuge Areas spaced every 2.5km.

As a result, the Highway Code needs to advise drivers what to do in the event of a breakdown where stopping on the hard shoulder isn't an option, the AA says.

The organisation is also calling for a rule requiring drivers to create an 'emergency corridor' in stationary traffic, to allow emergency services access to incidents on motorways where there is no continuous hard shoulder. This is already a legal requirement in some other European countries.

Lastly, the AA said it wants to see a new 'slow down and move over' rule when passing broken-down vehicles on motorways, to help protect breakdown, recovery and emergency services workers.

Edmund King, AA president, said: "Eight out of 10 drivers (79%) say that motorways are more dangerous now compared to four years ago simply because of the removal of the hard shoulder.

"More than a decade on since the introduction of smart motorways, we see these changes to the Highway Code as a necessary step to try help save lives and improve safety and driver confidence when people use motorways."

Do you agree that the Highway Code needs updating?

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