AF&RS support National Highways to increase motorway safety

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) are supporting National Highways’ new campaign to raise awareness of motorway driving hazards with the aim of increasing motorway safety in our local communities.


Sadly, as a Service we continue to see a number of incidents on our motorways. Since 1 February 2022, AF&RS have attended four incidents on motorways across the Service area. As we continue to fight fires, rescue persons trapped in vehicles and work to protect those travelling on our roads, we aim to reduce the risk of such incidents by joining National Highways in raising awareness of road safety, particularly on smart motorways.

Temporary Area Manager Steve Quinton, Risk Reduction Lead at AF&RS, said: “We’re passionate about keeping our communities safe and supporting National Highways in educating local people on how to use smart motorways is just one way we are working towards safer roads in our area.

“If you’re travelling on smart motorways, remember there are several elements used which work together to give you a better, more reliable journey, if the advice is followed correctly. I’d encourage drivers to visit National Highways website to read more about how to use smart motorways safely.”

Keeping safe on smart motorways:

  • On a smart motorway, sometimes one or more lanes need to be closed to traffic, for example if a vehicle has broken down. The red X signals on smart motorways tell drivers when lanes are closed. It is illegal to drive in a lane marked with a red X.
  • Variable speed limits are used on smart motorways, particularly during busy periods to manage traffic flow, reduce congestion and help all drivers have smoother journeys.
  • In an emergency, go left. Leave at the next junction if you can, if that is not possible, move into the hard shoulder or nearest emergency area. If you can, get yourself and any passengers out of the vehicle and over the safety barrier onto the verge.
  • If your car stops unexpectedly and it isn’t safe to get out, keep your seatbelt and hazard lights on and call 999 immediately.

Steve added: “Remember, if you are in an emergency and need our assistance, call 999 and ask for the fire service.”

More information on smart motorways can be found on National Highways website: