The study considered safety on the hard shoulders of the M25 on behalf of the Highways Agency. When a vehicle breaks down on the motorway, the advice in the Highway Code is for the vehicle occupants to get out of the vehicle and wait in a safe place. There has been concern about the advice that should be given to those who break down where there is a physical barrier, for example a bridge abutment or parapet or a retaining wall, at the back of the hard shoulder, as this will prevent the vehicle occupants from moving to safety away from the running lanes. The case for provision of vehicle or pedestrian refuges which are protected by a safety fence was investigated using video recordings of part of the dual four-lane sections of the M25. Accident risk on the hard shoulder was estimated and compared with that when driving along the motorway.

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