BUYING and selling cars, stopping for a drink and picking flowers are three of the crazy reasons given by motorists for illegally stopping on the hard shoulder of motorways.
The Highways Agency has published the top ten reasons why people choose to do one of the most dangerous things on the nation's roads.
One driver even decided to pull over after seeing the word "Fire" on the dashboard but it was only his CD player displaying the title of the song by Adele - Set Fire to the Rain.
Last year between July and September 279 drivers in the East Midlands stopped on the hard shoulder when there was no emergency.
The full list is as follows:
• One motorist pulled over because they saw fire on their dashboard display, it later turned out it was the name of the Adele track they were listening to.
• One motorist parked up and fell asleep on the M6.
• People stopping to read a map or check their sat-navs.
• Traffic officers stopped with two cars on the hard shoulder – the owners were half way through the selling and buying process for one of the cars.
• One driver realised their car insurance policy was up for renewal – they were ringing around for quotes to renew.
• A group of motorcyclists parked on the hard shoulder on the M1 to review their route and have a drink.
• Taxi drivers waiting on the hard shoulder around Heathrow airport for their client's flights to arrive.
• A mobile phone operator, stopping at regular intervals in their private car carrying out signal tests on the hard shoulder.
• A driver who stopped to pick flowers.
• Have you broken down Sir? No, came the reply, we are taking pictures of our new-born grandchild (in their open top sports car) as it is a lovely day.
Jamie Hassall, Highways Agency national enforcement co-ordinator, said: “Every day, millions of people use our motorways. Most of them use the hard shoulder correctly and don’t ignore red X’s, but we are appealing to the few who put themselves, other road users, and those working on motorways at risk.
“Where the hard shoulder is used as an additional traffic lane at peak times, you can only drive on it if there is a speed limit over it. When a red X is displayed over any lane, it’s simple – don’t drive on it.”