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SURVIVE Group celebrates ten years' dedication

SURVIVE Group celebrates ten years’ dedication to promoting safety at the roadside.

In recognition of its tenth year of promoting safety at the roadside, SURVIVE is marking the occasion with the launch of the SURVIVE Group website (www.survivegroup.org) and also introducing "Best Practice Guidelines" for those organisations and technicians involved in assisting motorists on the UK's roads.

Formed in 1998, following the deaths of six breakdown operators on motorway hard shoulders, SURVIVE was established by representatives from the breakdown and recovery industry with the key purpose of promoting the safety of people stopping on, or working on, the motorway hard shoulder and also high-speed dual carriageways.   Since 1998 the membership of SURVIVE has expanded to include key organisations such as Highways England, the National Police Chiefs' Council and representatives of the highway maintenance industry.

"During the last decade the SURVIVE Group has been pivotal in helping to improve the safety, not only of those working at the roadside, but also those using the UK's high-speed road networks. From vehicle breakdown and emergency advice to driving tips and general road safety we believe that through the SURVIVE Group we have helped to promote best practice in order to protect those working at the roadside as well as those members of the public stranded at the roadside," said Allan Mowatt, Chairman of the SURVIVE Executive.

"Despite an increase in the length of the motorway network1 and motorway traffic increasing faster than any other road type over the last decade2, the work of the SURVIVE Group has helped reduce the risk of people being killed or seriously injured on Great Britain's motorways and high-speed dual carriageways.

SURVIVE has been encouraging the adoption of best practice from its inception and since

2002 has been delivering recommendations to the breakdown and recovery industry through PAS 43 (BSI British Standards' Publicly Available Specification) to ensure that all operators, whether large or small, exercise consistency in the way they are managed and operate to ensure safe working practices.

SURVIVE recommendations adopted to date, have included:

  • - the type, maintenance and safety markings of the recovery vehicles and their equipment
  • - the training and behaviour of vehicle breakdown and recovery technicians
  • - the use of personal protective equipment by vehicle breakdown and recovery technicians
  • - the maintenance and organisation of vehicle breakdown and recovery operators' premises

"Neither the motorist, the technician, nor the road recovery operator has any control over where or when a vehicle breaks down.  But, once it has done so it immediately becomes a potential hazard, often because it is an obstruction, and the risk of being involved in an accident increases the longer it stays where it is," said Steve Ives, Chair of SURVIVE Working Group 1 - Working Protocols & Best Practice.

"The primary objective of the SURVIVE Group, which is reinforced through the publishing of these "Best Practice Guidelines", is to help technicians and road recovery operators be more aware of their own safety as well as that of the motorist and other road users whilst they are dealing with breakdowns, recoveries or removals on our high-speed roads."

The considerable - and intensely practical - progress made in the last 10 years demonstrates the SURVIVE Group's continued commitment to improving driving safety.  The SURVIVE Group is looking forward to making a difference over the next ten years and during the coming months will be:

  • addressing, with the help of Government, issues regarding conspicuity, namely the use of temporary traffic management signs, vehicle warning lights / beacons and vehicle markings etc.
  • seeking the continuing involvement of the breakdown / recovery industry with Government regarding the development of their policies for road usage together with plans for the future expansion of traffic management measures
  • continuing to encourage the high levels of safety on the roads that are now being achieved.

Source = Department of Transport statistics Great Britain 2008 edition
1. Table 7.8 pg 127 Public Road Length by road type 1997 - 2007
Trunk and principal motorway public road length in 1998 = 3420 kilometres and in 2007 = 3559 kilometres
2. Table 7.3 pg 123 Motor vehicle traffic by road class 1997 - 2007
Motorway traffic 1998 = 85.7 billion vehicle kilometres and in 2007 = 100.6 billion vehicle kilometres