In 2021, UTS LLC, the operator of toll roads, recorded 341 traffic accidents on the operated sections that occurred due to the fault of drivers who stopped on the side of the road. This is 14% more than in 2020, when the number of accidents for this reason was 299 times.
Despite the fact that the rules of the road (clause 16.1.) on all highways prohibit stopping and parking vehicles outside special rest areas, many drivers park in the wrong places, ignoring the law. Such actions provoke the occurrence of traffic accidents, unfortunately, sometimes with a fatal outcome.
From January to May 2022, there were 139 more accidents due to the stops on emergency lane, so for several years in a row it has become the main cause of road accidents on road sections operated by UTS. For example, on M4 Don highway, 14% of all accidents occur for this reason, on M3 Ukraine – 15%, on M11 Neva the share is much lower, but nevertheless significant – 3%. Other common causes of accidents include lane change accidents or situations where the driver lost control (distracted / fell asleep / felt ill at the wheel).
“Of course, comparing data of 2020 and 2021 may not be very correct, because due to the pandemic, traffic on the highways in 2020 was much less than usual, and the number of accidents in 2021 increased in proportion to the increased traffic. However, for several years in a row, no matter what the traffic, we still see that stops on emergency lane are the main cause of all traffic accidents on the roads we operate. I understand that sometimes stopping on emergency lane is really a necessary measure. For example, if the car broke down or the driver became ill at the wheel. But in such cases, it is important to follow the emergency stop rules: turn on the emergency alarm, put on a reflective vest, put up an emergency stop sign, immediately go beyond the barrier fence and take all the passengers of your vehicle there. Remember: under no circumstances should you stay in the car. After that, be sure to call our traffic safety inspector”, said Oleg Trofimov, UTS LLC General Director.
To reduce the number of accidents, the toll road operator UTS announces the launch of the second safety campaign "Highway is not a place to park." The purpose of the campaign is to inform drivers about the high risk of stopping on the emergency lane, as well as to inform about the existing rest areas on M3, M4 and M11 highways, where it is allowed to stop. On the section from 15 to 545 km of M11 Neva, 50 rest areas are equipped on both sides of the highway, on the section from 225 to 715 km of M4 Don – 47 rest areas, and on the section from 124 to 194 km of M3 Ukraine – 18. A complete list and the exact location of permitted places for recreation can be found here.