Traffic Cops Get Their Skates On

Tue 1st Mar 2022

The influx of electric vehicles on our motorway networks has presented a range of new problems for the UK’s fleet of traffic officers, with innovative new equipment the solution.

Officers who usually the first at the scene of an accident or broken down vehicle have had to learn new techniques when it comes to EVs, particularly as most electric vehicles have no neutral gear, and towing car often damage the powertrain. But rather than waiting for a recovery vehicle to arrive and risk causing major congestion, the teams from National Highways have invested £200,000 in plastic ‘skates’ to solve the problem.

The skates, also known as ‘Slippery Jims’ can be placed under each tyre of an EV and acts in a similar fashion to ‘skates’ allowing the vehicle to towed to a place of safety by the traffic police vehicle.

The traffic police have also been equipped by battery-boosters, which can help jump-start batteries of petrol and diesel engines.

“No-one plans to break down, but if the unexpected happens the new equipment we have fitted to all our vehicles will further reduce the time it takes to move a stranded vehicle out of a live lane to a safer area, reducing the risk to both our Traffic Officers and other road users,” said Mel Clarke, the customer service director at National Highways.

“The new apparatus allows our Traffic Officers to be much more agile when dealing with broken down vehicles. Beforehand we’d have to wait for a recovery vehicle to get to the scene but this new approach speeds up clearance times, further improves motorway and major A road safety and allows carriageways to return to normal running quicker.”