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Drivers' odd hard shoulder stops

Instances of illegal stopping on motorway hard shoulders include people picking flowers, renewing their insurance and even trying to sell their car.

One motorist pulled over after seeing "Fire" on his dashboard display. It turned out to be the name of an Adele track he was listening to.

On another occasion, t raffic officers found two cars on the hard shoulder, with the owners halfway through the selling and buying process for one of the cars.

The list, from the Highways Agency, of bizarre reasons for stopping also included the case of a couple who, when asked if they had broken down, replied they were taking pictures of their newborn grandchild in their open-top sports car as it was "a lovely day".

Other instances have included:

:: A motorist who parked up and fell asleep on the M6;

:: A group of motorcyclists who parked on the hard shoulder on the M1 to review their route and have a drink;

:: A mobile phone operator, stopping at regular intervals in his private car carrying out signal tests on the hard shoulder.

The agency said that between July and September 2013, a total of 2,062 drivers stopped on the hard shoulder when there was no emergency - an illegal act.

It is also illegal to drive under a red X sign which is displayed when the lane ahead is closed.

Highways Agency national enforcement co-ordinator Jamie Hassall said: "Every day, millions of people use our motorways. Most of them use the hard shoulder correctly and don't ignore red Xs, but we are appealing to the few who put themselves, other road users and those working on motorways at risk.

"Where the hard shoulder is used as an additional traffic lane at peak times, you can only drive on it if there is a speed limit over it. When a red X is displayed over any lane, it's simple - don't drive on it."

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