The breakdown lane as a traffic lane


Dear friends of the driving school at AKH!

Today, in this article, I deal with the breakdown lane as a traffic lane. When I was writing the Drive Mondays about the emergency lane, I often asked myself: Why do you use an emergency lane when there are breakdown lanes everywhere in Austria, on which the emergency vehicles could also move forward?

My personal assumption was that the day will come when the breakdown lane will presumably be abandoned and then, of course, you need an emergency lane, otherwise the emergency vehicles will no longer be able to get to the scene of the accident.

And behold: now the time has come! There is already the temporary possibility of leaving hard shoulders open for a certain period of time and making them into a traffic lane. Traffic cameras and ASFINAG’s traffic managers help to determine whether this is necessary. If the specialists are of the opinion that it is necessary, then the emergency lane is released.

This means that the breakdown lane is signalled with a lane signalisation that the breakdown lane can now be used. In addition, signs have been erected indicating that the hard shoulder can now be used as a traffic lane.

This solution is of course to be welcomed, but of course it will not be applicable everywhere. Especially in the vicinity of urban conurbations, there are often no breakdown lanes or the existing breakdown lanes are extremely narrow. Since hard shoulders increase road safety per se, they will always be a temporary solution.

Please leave me your opinion on the temporary use of hard shoulders as traffic lanes on my social media channels. I would be really interested to hear what you think about this issue.