New Safety Milestone: Tyre and Recovery Sectors Granted Use of Rear-Facing Red Flashing Lamps

After an enduring campaign spanning nearly four decades, the tyre roadside assistance and recovery industry has achieved a significant breakthrough. The National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) announced that it has been granted permission to use rear-facing red flashing lamps, a privilege previously exclusive to government agencies, police, and National Highways Traffic Officers.

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Published on
April 13, 2024

A Long-Awaited Change

This permission marks a new era of safety and recognition for our operatives who are out on the roads, ensuring public safety and mobility. Previously, the tyre and recovery sectors were limited to amber beacons, which will continue to play a crucial role under the new guidelines.

Regulations and Protocols

To maintain the effectiveness of these lamps, their usage will be strictly regulated. According to the newly drafted operating protocols, approved by the Professional Recovery Operators Safety Executive (PROSE), the lamps should only be deployed after a dynamic risk assessment at the scene. Such assessments will determine the presence of extenuating factors that justify their use.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has outlined specific conditions for the lamps: they must be rear-facing, have a consistent flash rate between 60 and 240 times per minute, and can only be activated when the vehicle is stationary. These lamps must automatically deactivate when the vehicle exceeds a speed of 5 mph. Crucially, their use is confined to scenarios involving accidents or breakdowns in close proximity.

Training and Compliance

The new standards emphasize that only personnel who have undergone comprehensive training and are licensed—specifically those certified through NTDA REACT or National Highways Sector Scheme 17/17B—will be eligible to operate these red flashing lamps.

Consultation and Feedback

With the protocols still in the consultation phase, PROSE is inviting feedback from stakeholders within the tyre and recovery sectors. NTDA encourage all interested parties to review the draft protocols and provide their insights and Interested parties can request access to these documents through the NTDA and provide feedback via an online form available on the IVR Group's website.

Looking Forward

The NTDA and its partners, including the Institute of Vehicle Recovery (IVR), National Highways, and various safety councils, are now preparing to present the final protocols to the Department for Transport. This consultation is pivotal as it will shape the final regulations expected to be legally endorsed by 2025.

As this new permission comes into effect, it promises to enhance the safety and operational standards for tyre and recovery workers across the UK, ensuring that their critical roadside operations are conducted under the safest conditions possible.

PROSE invites comments to the consultation before the closing date of 21 May 2024, through the following link:

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