A FATHER'S plea for "common sense" could protect thousands of motorists.
Peter Frazer is calling for Parliament to legislate for breakdown lanes to be a minimum 2.5 metres-wide, and make people slow to half the speed limit when they see hazard or emergency lights.
The move is part of The Sarah Group campaign, in memory of Mr Frazer's daughter Sarah, 23, who was killed when a truck hit both her and tow truck driver, Geoff Clark, after her car broke down on the Hume Highway in February.
Her car could only partially fit on the road shoulder.
In NSW, highway breakdown lanes are between one and 2.5 metres-wide.
A Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman said the agency adopted a specified highway shoulder width of 2.5 metres for all newly-built motorways about 12 years ago.
She said the M2 and M7 had these 2.5 metre-wide highway shoulders, while the M4 had highway shoulders up to about three metres-wide, with the widths varying along the 40-kilometre stretch.
Presenting a petition to the state government with 23,000 signatures supporting the campaign, Mr Frazer said it was no longer morally acceptable to sacrifice people's safety by placing them in harm's way for an extra lane of pavement.
"If major roads, highways and freeways have not been built to allow people to break down safely, then that road has created an unacceptable community risk," Mr Frazer said.
"As drivers, we need to protect each other out on the road.
"However, we also know that until a law is introduced, people's driving behaviour won't alter."
An audit of the major roads will determine how wide road shoulders are across the state.
The state government has set up a working group to discuss breakdown lanes and vehicle safety.
It will look at improving the visibility of response vehicles, examining tow truck design to see if it is possible for all vehicles to have offside operation, and using additional warning devices for broken down cars like warning triangles.