Breakdown organisations the RAC, AA and Green Flag are calling for enhanced safety rules on motorways to protect road users and recovery patrols.

The organisations have written to Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman following a number of serious incidents involving vehicle recovery staff including the death of a RAC roadside technician. They want to see the introduction of a “slow down, move over” rule when drivers pass a broken-down vehicle or recovery vehicle with flashing beacons.

“Working or breaking down at the side of a busy road or motorway is a nerve-racking experience and one we know carries risks. We do everything we can to minimise the dangers and to ensure our patrols put their own safety and that of drivers and passengers first,” said RAC Chief Operation Officer James Knight. “But in light of the recent fatalities we now urgently need the Government to work with us to raise awareness of the issue among drivers and to promote a ‘slow down, move over’ message. This must be backed by a high-profile publicity campaign and a change to the Highway Code.”

The AA has previously written to Norman suggesting changes to the Highway Code ahead of the new rules implemented in July of this year which enabled learner drivers to have lessons on motorways. The recommendations were not adopted.

“Standing at the side of a motorway is a frightening experience, but our patrols rescue stranded motorists daily in all weathers. Unfortunately their safety is being compromised by some who drive too fast and too close,” said AA President Edmund King. “Between our organisations we have seen too many near misses and too many fatalities caused by this problem. That needs to change quickly.

“Slow down, move over is not a difficult request, but this simple act of kindness will make a world of difference to vulnerable drivers, patrols and road workers alike.”