The NTDA has become a stakeholder in the Slow Down Move Over (SDMO) UK campaign group.
Active in its current form since 1997, the aim of SDMO, backed universally by the roadside rescue and assistance industry, is for Government to recognise that the motto ‘slow down or move over safely’ should actually be a safety measure within the Highway Code. Sadly, life changing or fatal accidents involving independent recovery operators and roadside technicians continue at an unnecessary and alarming rate, but could be avoided by raising greater awareness among road users.
NTDA Chief Executive Stefan Hay said: “The Association intends to be an active and enthusiastic stakeholder of SDMO and an ally to the roadside rescue and recovery industry. Independent recovery operators are exposed to the same dangers as commercial tyre technicians and our members know, from the tragic experiences of the past, how devastating it is to lose a technician responding to a callout.”
Hay added: “REACT has been hugely successful in ensuring many of our technicians are competent, and therefore safer, to work at the roadside, but the introduction of SMART Motorways combined with the dangerous distraction of a plethora of constantly flashing sign changes, inexplicable speed restrictions on empty stretches of road and the use of the hard shoulder as a running lane at times of congestion, has increased the vulnerability of both drivers with a tyre issue, (especially those who don’t make it to a refuge area), and the technician responding to the incident, and its making the job more difficult and dangerous by the day.”
The main objectives of the campaign are:
- To help educate the public with what action is required in the event of their vehicle breaking down or being involved in an RTC at the roadside and to keep themselves and their passengers safe until help arrives.
- To educate road users on the awareness of possible temporary hazards on the road network, and advise on how to act safely in accordance with the law to avoid these dangers.
- Assist in the education, awareness and training of those working at the roadside and encourage the reporting of incidents to help understand the scale of the issue.
Reiterating comments, he made in November last year, the Director of SDMO and Managing Director of roadside breakdown company Service On Site, Paul Anstee, concluded: “This is a really important time. We have the attention and wide support of independent vehicle recovery operators, breakdown clubs and trade associations and are now calling upon those with specialist skills to grow the campaign further. The vision of Slow Down Move Over is to build a group that is all encompassing, reflective of our industry, transparent in its approach and free from any ‘industry politics’, focusing purely on safety.”
During 2019, the NTDA intends to provide its members offering commercial tyre roadside assistance van decals promoting the campaign message: Slow Down Or Move Over Safely.