Rain

Rain

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Blog: Stupid drivers need hazard lights

17:01 18 September 2015

You never know what might be round the next corner - it might be a parked car with the driver on the phone.

You never know what might be round the next corner - it might be a parked car with the driver on the phone.

You and I know them as hazard warning lights – that red switch with a white triangle that makes all your vehicle’s indicators flash – but I’m convinced many drivers think of them as ‘park anywhere’ lights.

Stop in the most daft and dangerous place, for the most unnecessary thing, as long as you put those lights on.

You see people in cars on the side of busy roads, the brow of a hill or blocking a side road, while on a hand-held mobile phone, with hazard lights on. Because they have stopped, in their minds, they are not driving. It’s selfish and makes me cross!

Can any mobile phone call be so important you need to stop there and then to answer it with no idea, or care, if other road-users are at risk.

I was amazed at the weekend to see a driver pulls up just round a right-hand blind bend, put those park anywhere lights on and go off to post a letter.

If there had been vehicles coming from both directions, and one had pulled round that parked car, it could have resulted in a nasty head-on.

No matter how carefully you drive you can’t make allowances for other people’s stupidity when it comes to stopping and parking.

And on a busy country road, two cyclists stopped just after a left-hand bend. It was a 60mph zone and a car, coming round the bend, swerved round them into my lane. If I had been 30 or 40 yards further on that’s where I would have been. If the cyclists had gone another 100 yards there was a track into woods off the road.

Rule 116 of the Highway Code about hazard warning lights says:

“These may be used when your vehicle is stationary, to warn that it is temporarily obstructing traffic. Never use them as an excuse for dangerous or illegal parking. You MUST NOT use hazard warning lights while driving or being towed unless you are on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway and you need to warn drivers behind you of a hazard or obstruction ahead. Only use them for long enough to ensure that your warning has been observed.”

And rule 149 about mobile phones:

“You MUST NOT use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, when driving or when supervising a learner driver, except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop. Never use a hand-held microphone when driving. Using hands-free equipment is also likely to distract your attention from the road. It is far safer not to use any telephone while you are driving or riding – find a safe place to stop first or use the voicemail facility and listen to messages later.”

High­ways Eng­land, the gov­ern­ment com­pany charged with dri­ving for­ward our motor­ways and major A roads, says dri­ving is using a motor vehi­cle on pub­lic roads and can include when a vehi­cle is stopped at traf­fic lights or dur­ing a traf­fic hold-up. There­fore you should not use that time to make or receive a call. Park safely and then use the phone – but not on the motor­way hard shoulder.

So hang up, shut up and park up... safely.

Do you have an opinion? Whether you agree or disagree email motoring@archant.co.uk

2 comments

  • Well the writer makes a point of criticising those who stupidly stop in dangerous places, for example just around blind bends - fair enough - but aims no criticism towards those drivers who drive too fast to avoid a hazard in such a location. You should only ever drive as fast as you can see to stop. If you drive round a blind bend too fast and hit a stationary object then it's obviously your fault, no matter why that hazard is there. On another point regarding stopping to make a telephone call, apparently you can be prosecuted even if you are stopped on the highway using a handset with the keys in the ignition of the car. Not a lot of people seem to know this and the police would do well to publicise the fact. If they did it might reduce a lot of the idiotic behaviour mentioned in the report.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Saturday, September 19, 2015

  • Well the writer makes a point of criticising those who stupidly stop in dangerous places, for example just around blind bends - fair enough - but aims no criticism towards those drivers who drive too fast to avoid a hazard in such a location. You should only ever drive as fast as you can see to stop. If you drive round a blind bend too fast and hit a stationary object then it's obviously your fault, no matter why that hazard is there. On another point regarding stopping to make a telephone call, apparently you can be prosecuted even if you are stopped on the highway with the keys in the ignition of the car. Not a lot of people seem to know this and the police would do well to publicise the fact. If they did it might reduce a lot of the idiotic behaviour mentioned in the report.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Saturday, September 19, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Behind the scenes at the Buttermarket in Ipswich. 
Stephen Sugg

Shoppers who claim Ipswich has lost a “pillar” after the Buttermarket’s glass entrance was torn down will be proved wrong when they see the new shopping centre.

NUT supporters at a strike rally in Ipswich in 2014

Thousands of teachers are set to strike in Essex and Suffolk next week as part of a national row over pay and conditions.

Sylvia Stuart and her husband Peter Stuart. Photo Diss Express

A judgment on the extradition case against suspected Suffolk double murder suspect Ali Qazimaj is due to be made on Monday next week.

Lt Col John Clark MBE RE, CO 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment cuts the ribbon to open the new skate park at Rock Barracks, helped by Charlie Turner.

A new skate park near Woodbridge has been unveiled as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen links between the community and local armed forces families.

Budgens in the Turban Centre, Woodbridge

A major supermarket 
chain’s arrival in a Suffolk town has suffered an apparent setback.

Michael Scott CEO of the Norfolk and Suffolk FoundationTrust. Photo : Steve Adams

The region’s mental health trust is “confident” it has improved on the serious failings that landed it in special measures two years ago – despite reporting a number of “red” warnings at its latest board meeting.

A14 (stock photo)

A van and a car were involved in a crash at around 6.50am today (June 29) on the westbound carriageway of the A14.

Sizewell C

The vote to leave the European Union has posed fresh doubts over the likelihood of a new nuclear power plant in Suffolk.

Video: Tornado spotted in Suffolk

Yesterday, 19:05
Tornado spotted in Old Newton. Picture: Emma Cobbold

A mid-Suffolk resident has spoken of the “surreal” moment she spotted a tornado as she drove through the county this evening (Tuesday).

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24