‘Unnecessary Stop’ Most Common Motorway Offence

Mon 9th Aug 2021

Analysis of almost 18,000 motorway motoring offences over the last five years has revealed that the British public are still making almost fatal mistakes on our major roads on a daily basis.

Research published this week by Auto Express looked at the data of 43 police forces across England and Wales and found the most common offences under the specific ‘Motorway Traffic’ regulations.

Some 6,821 motorists were ticketed for making an ‘illegal stop on a hard shoulder or refuge area’ according to the report, the most popular offence by a long way, more than double the next offence, which was driving on the hard shoulder or refuge area (2,645 incidents).

And what might seem like a crazily rare occurrence, such as driving the wrong way down a motorway, happens more often than you might think, with 165 incidents according to the Auto Express report.

The analysis looked at a breakdown of the offences year-by-year and found that 2020, the year when car travel was banned for many, was the busiest year for offences in the last five years, with 4,919 tickets issued. Other common offences include reversing down a slip road, pedestrians in the motorway, learners on a motorway (illegal up till 2018) and shockingly 82 offences of making a U-turn on a motorway.

“Much of the recent focus on motorways has been around  smart motorways, but we rarely discuss the key factor that determines how safe our roads are: driver behaviour,” said the Auto Express report.

“Almost every collision is caused by human error, and while this can never be eliminated, it is difficult to fathom the thought processes that cause people to make a U-turn on a motorway. Those who ride e-scooters on motorways, or make late dives for exits, must also know their actions are dangerous, but behave this way regardless.

“Little will change until we can move away from heated debate around motorways, and realise it is only by improving driver behaviour, however that occurs, that safety will be improved. We can blame inanimate stretches of asphalt and concrete for collisions as much as we like, but the uncomfortable truth is that the real fault lies with our own behaviour.”