Motorists 'put lives at risk' by using phones in hard shoulder
Published 29/11/2011 | 05:00
HALF of all motorists are putting their lives at risk by stopping on motorways to make routine phone calls or send texts.
Disciplining a child, going to the toilet, changing clothes and taking a nap are also cited as reasons for pulling on to the hard shoulder.
And according to a survey of 8,400 drivers carried out by AA Ireland and the Road Safety Authority (RSA), some 45pc said they used the hard shoulder to make or receive calls and to send text messages.
Motorists should not stop on a motorway unless it was an emergency, the RSA said.
AA director of policy Conor Faughnan said: "A motorway hard shoulder is an extremely dangerous place to be and should only be used in an emergency, for example if your car breaks down and you can't restart it.
"It's alarming the number of motorists willing to casually pull over and put themselves and their passengers in a dangerous situation -- and all too often to respond to a text or answer a call."
Mr Faughnan added: "If you experience car trouble, make your way to the nearest exit or designated rest area and find a safe place to pull in before calling for assistance.
"If this is not an option for you, pull in as far as you can and use your hazard lights to alert traffic behind you."
The number of people found walking on motorways was also a cause of concern in the survey.
In the survey, 236 individual motorists admitted to stopping to either collect or drop off a passenger on a motorway hard shoulder.
RSA chief executive Noel Brett said: "Pedestrians are at a massive risk on a motorway as you're taking your life in your hands and putting other road users in danger, too."