Dartford MP, Gareth Johnson, was amongst a group of MPs calling for more safety measures on smart motorways during a debate in the House of Commons this week.
During the debate in Westminster Hall on Wednesday, Gareth Johnson said: “Does the Hon. Lady agree that not only motorists but workers in recovery vehicles need extra protection when using smart motorways?
One way of achieving that might be to enable those workers to use red lights rather than the simple amber lights that they use at the moment. That would afford them greater protection from other vehicles that might otherwise not see them on the road.”
This debate follows a meeting last year between Mr Johnson and staff from Dynes Motor Group, a roadside rescue and recovery business based in Dartford.
The company is part of the Campaign for Safer Roadside Rescue Recovery, which was set up following the death of one of its employees, who was tragically killed whilst carrying out a roadside recovery.
As well as raising awareness about the dangers roadside recovery operators face, campaigners want to see workers allowed to use prominent red lights whilst attending accidents and breakdowns, rather than an amber light currently in use.
Following this debate, Mr Johnson said: “This debate highlighted the dangers to motorists and both recovery and emergency workers using smart motorways. If these motorways are to continue to be a regular feature then we have to protect the people who use them. The lack of a continuous hard shoulder makes it very challenging for recovery drivers to help motorists who have broken down or been involved in an accident. I have seen some terrifying footage of incidents where recovery workers have nearly been killed and we know that several people have lost their lives when helping motorists who are stranded. We have to do more to make this new type of road safer if they are going to be used in the future.”