New driving law changes branded 'vital' in bid to improve roads and protect motorists

Busy motorway

The move from the Government has the backing of motoring organisations

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 16/10/2023

- 15:06

The Plan for Drivers aims to improve overall motoring conditions for Britons

New driving law changes have been praised by experts for improving the state of road safety for motorists around the country.

The Government recently unveiled the “Plan for Drivers” which lays out 30 proposals to improve motoring for Britons.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said it wasn’t right that some drivers feel under attack with anti-motorist rules constantly being rolled out.

Some of the new proposals look to protect drivers from predatory parking charges, improve poor road and motorway surfaces and address the transition to zero emission vehicles.

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One of the key aims behind ensuring drivers have “smoother journeys” is to make breakdown recoveries safer.

The Plan highlights how crucial road recovery operators are to help stranded motorists and keep the roads and economy going.

To help road recovery agents continue with their work, the Government will permit the use of rear-facing red flashing lamps by these operators.

Not only will this protect those who have broken down, but it will also make them more visible on roadsides and alert other drivers to an incident ahead of them.

Lee Puffett, managing director of Start Rescue, described the move by the Government as “excellent news” and praised the benefits it would have for motorists.

He added: “The independent recovery industry has been campaigning for this for years to keep our customers and recovery workers safe.

“It’s been driven by PROF’s Richard Goddard, supported by the Association of Vehicle Recovery Operators, as well as Call Assist and others.

“It warns drivers there’s a breakdown incident ahead so recovery agents and stranded families will be much better protected.”

Richard Goddard, president of the Professional Recovery Operators Federation (PROF), reiterated Lee Puffett’s praise, saying it was a “vital safety concession”.

He continued, saying that the ongoing support of motoring organisations was needed to raise standards for roadside workers and the general public.

The Government is also looking to reduce the amount of time lost as a result of roadworks by increasing the value of fines for utility companies whose roadworks are overrun.

Despite the lofty goals set out in the Plan for Drivers, the law is not set to be rolled out until 2025 across England, Scotland and Wales.

However, in the meantime, approved recovery operators can start using the red flashing lights as an interim measure.

Chuks Oguibe, senior engineer at International Vehicle Standards at the Department for Transport, said: “The use of red flashing lamps will improve safety for recovery technicians and other road users.


A breakdown operator behind an old car

Breakdown operators will be able to use red flashing lights


“The Government is committed to improving safety for all road users, including ensuring recovery technicians have a safe working environment to operate and help get people moving again when vehicles break down.”

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