NTDA delighted by DfT announcement on use of rear-facing red flashing lamps on breakdown vehicles

The NTDA has welcomed the Government’s publication, today, of its ‘Plan for Drivers’ which contains details of the decision by the Secretary of State for Transport to amend the legislation to permit breakdown vehicles to be fitted with rear-facing red flashing lamps when recovering broken-down vehicles on GB roads.

The regulatory amendments that would permit red flashing lamps on breakdown vehicles are not expected to enter into force until 2025 but, as an interim measure, the DfT will facilitate operators, to use red flashing lamps sooner. Operators will need to apply for a Vehicle Special Order (VSO) under the authority conferred upon the Secretary of State for Transport by section 44 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The NTDA has campaigned for the use of red lamps on breakdown response vehicles for many years, both in its own right and alongside the Professional Recovery Operators Federation (PROF), which has led on the campaign.

NTDA CEO Stefan Hay said: “Vehicle Recovery Operators and Tyre Technicians, both Mobile and Commercial, are comrades working together to keep Britain moving in often appalling and usually very dangerous conditions and sadly, in both cases, the recovery and tyre industries have lost people at the side of the road. 

This has been a long and often frustrating battle and the PROF Chairman Richard Goddard, who spoke at the 2019 NTDA Tyre Industry Conference on this matter, and Derek Firminger of European Rescue and Recovery Initiative (ERRI) have been phenomenal allies and inspirational leaders in this campaign. Over the years we have fought together, laughed together, shouted together and sometimes wanted to cry together and I can’t express in words how absolutely delighted the NTDA is by this decision.

Common sense has finally prevailed and we now have another extremely important safety tool available to protect our precious technicians working at the roadside.”

The DfT will be publishing the reports from the two phases of its funded research in due course. As well as the outcomes on the use of red flashing lamps, the reports make recommendations which could help improve safety for recovery technicians and other road users.

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