HC Deb 05 July 1999 vol 334 c331W
Mr. Bob Russell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what legal basis exists(a) for the warning by the Association of Chief Police Officers that vehicles in motorway accidents or which have broken down must be removed within 30 minutes and (b) for the police to engage their own contractors and charge the owners to remove vehicles after this time limit; when these provisions will come into effect; and if he will make a statement. [89553]

Mr. Boateng

Police powers to arrange for the removal of vehicles from motorways are contained in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Removal and Disposal of Vehicles Regulations 1986. Under this legislation, the precise arrangements adopted by police forces for the safe recovery of vehicles from the motorway including the engagement of contractors to carry out this work are an operational matter for individual chief officers of police.

In view of the increasing traffic flows on motorways and the associated dangers the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) issued guidelines in May this year which reduced the period of leeway which the police allow for the removal of vehicles from the motorway from two hours to 30 minutes. A memorandum of understanding has recently been agreed between the four main motoring organisations and ACPO whereby Greenflag, the Royal Automobile Club, Automobile Association and Britannia will aim to attend the scene of a breakdown on the motorway within 30 minutes.

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