Mega Car Stress


Ok, completely off-topic, but I'm freaking out a bit (doesn't help that I'm generally stressed, a bit feverish and run down) and hoped someone might have reassuring words...

So, long story short, I was given an old banger. I spent money doing it up. Mainly it runs fine but out of nowhere the engine cut out whilst going at 70mph on the motorway. Luckily I was able to pull into the hard shoulder. However, I a came to a stop directly behind another broken down vehicle (as in, I couldn't have parked the damned thing better if I'd tried).

My engine restarted immediately, but then the only way I could safely rejoin the busy carriageway was to reverse far enough to enable me to pick up enough speed.

It's been 21 days, and really hasn't worried me too much to this point, but (you know how it is when you're panicking about things) I suddenly started thinking about it. I made the mistake of googling it, and discovered that reversing on the hard shoulder can land you a £2500 fine and 3 points. What's more, the offense doesn't require a notification within 14 days (the way speeding fines do).

I'm nervy at the best of times and have got myself a bit worked up, tbh...


Was the reversing really idiotic? And how long do I have to wait before I can stop worrying about a charge?


Stop worrying immediately. Though I'm sure that's not entirely possible. It's been three weeks - the chances are you weren't caught, and even if you were, worrying about it isn't going to help one jot. The chances of you receiving a £2500 fine are probably (though I've not investigated it) very slim; this is likely to be the worst case scenario, and probably applies to incidents of really irresponsible and dangerous driving (i.e. reversing without good reason, reversing a far distance, repeat offenders (assuming such idiots exist), causing an accident etc).

I'm sure a lot of people would not know that reversing on the hard shoulder can carry such penalties. I certainly didn't - even though I would try to avoid doing it, as I'm sure you did. But you did what you judged to be safest at the time and nobody was hurt so don't beat yourself up.

Best of luck. Fingers crossed nothing will come of it.


Sounds to me like you're being a touch on the irrational side.  you had a good, legitimate excuse for reversing: it was unsafe to rejoin the motor way from a stand still. I would have done the same.

The only way they would have caught you would be live streaming cameras (i've been caught on bus lanes with these damn things before!), so the man on the other end of the camera would have seen why you did what you did.

i'm sure it will be fine, if not, you have adequate grounds to contest it - but it is massively improbable it will come to this.


Unless there was a camera filming you as you reversed, or a policeman drove past and was filming you as you reversed, I doubt that you'll be in any trouble. It was 21 days ago, nearly a month, so I would have thought you'd have heard something by now. I'm no expert but, to me, it doesn't seem likely that you'll get fined and feature in Police Camera Action! this time.

I can just picture Michael Burke narrating:

"And this dangerous motorist thought that it was perfectly acceptable to reverse on the hard shoulder of the motorway. Motorway accident statistics are unacceptably high and are almost always caused by careless driving. This motorist thought that she got away with it but she'll be getting a knock on her door and a hefty fine from the long arm of the law"

I wouldn't call what you did idiotic; you had the unusual bad luck of pulling in behind someone who had also broken down. I've had worse experiences, so try not to worry about it:-)


======= Date Modified 27 Sep 2010 21:45:13 =======
Thank you all three! Lol at the narration. My head's just a bit swimmy and I just had another drive home with all the anxiety of a repeat incident. Luckily all fine.

Sorry to hear about the bus lane thing. I think part of the reason I was worrying is because a pal just posted up his caught-on-camera footage of him illegally turning right. Incidentally, it was pretty creepy camera work -zooming in and out a la Red Road.

I am irrationally afraid of being in trouble and fines in general though, that's true :p

Anyway, feel better just sharing. So ta x


lol, i've had a penalty for illegally turning right once too. Damn cameras got me again!

Hope you feel better soon :-)

Avatar for sneaks

if you're really worried, sell the car to your parents, then they'll get the fine :-) hee hee.

We had the bailiffs round once because my father in law turned right at a junction, where he wasn't supposed to, got caught. We managed to convince them that we didn't own the car (even though we did), so we paid the original fine, but not the HUGE costs they were trying to add for their bailiff services.