posted 4 years ago

Safety Charity Calls For More Information About SMART Motorways

Road Safety Charity Laments Lack Of SMART Motorway Publicity

News flash: the Institute of Advanced Motorists has claimed the public need more information about SMART Motorways. Why? Because its survey of more than fifteen hundred people has revealed that sixty-seven percent have not seen any related “publicity”. This might suggest that thousands of people do not understand how to use this type of road. SMART Motorways are managed by control centres and ensure that traffic flows as efficiently as possible. Techniques include varying the speed limit to create buffers to congestion and – either permanently or as required - opening the hard shoulder to non-emergency traffic. Motorists that break-down must therefore find a refuge bay as positioned periodically to the left of the inner lane. Interestingly, seventy-one percent of the survey respondents claimed they “would feel less safe on a motorway with no hard shoulder”. Furthermore, forty percent are sceptical that warning systems such as overhead signs can “protect them” if their vehicle stops in a running lane.

Institute Chief Executive Discusses SMART Motorways

The Institute of Advanced Motorists Chief Executive, Simon Best, said: “SMART motorways are being rolled out across England but our survey shows that drivers want more reassurance and information on how safe they will be and how to use them.  The IAM has been supportive of hard shoulder running but we have always said that the Highways Agency must be quick to learn and implement any real world lessons as more schemes come into use.”

How To Use SMART Motorways

The Institute of Advanced Motorists has published guidance on using SMART motorways:

  • Pay attention to the overhead gantries as they provide information on traffic conditions and lane access for the road ahead. The six signals are:
  • A red cross without flashing beacons. The hard shoulder is only for use in an emergency or breakdown.
  • A speed limit inside a red circle.  It is absolutely mandatory and may have cameras enforcing it. 
  • A blank signal. Usual motorway rules apply. 
  • A white arrow with flashing beacons. This applies to all lanes and means you should move into the lane which the arrow points to. 
  • A red cross with flashing beacons. You should not continue to use the lane. 
  • A national speed limit sign is shown. The national speed limit, seventy miles per-hour maximum, applies to all lanes apart from the hard shoulder. 

What stupid idiot thought up this one , the hard shoulder is meant to be there for the safety of the motorist not a cheap way to improve the flow of traffic at the expense of our lives how many people will have to die or be injured for this to be scraped .

this is not smart motorways,its about trying to increase capacity on the cheap,if all the foreign lorries were charged to use our roads,like we have to pay in their countries,there would be an abundance of funds, to update/repair and build new roads to the standards that we should have. Not like at present, full of ruts potholes and poor state of repair. Its time health and safety was applied to road travel

Smart Motorways my backside... I guess the M42 is supposed to be called such. So why is a speed limit imposed that is totally unreasonable?? I was travelling down the M42 in the early hours only to be met by a 30mph limit due to "Workforce In The Road". What workforce??? No where to be seen, but then the speed went back to 70 & the workforce came into sight!!! They'd work well if they worked well.

Colette Rogers is spot on. Whoever came up with this dangerous idea needs his (or her)a**e kicking!

The so called idea of SMART motorways is downright dangerous. With a hard shoulder in place you can pull of immediately with a blow out, or other mechanical failure. With the SMART motorway you will be a very lucky driver indeed to be bang opposite a refuge stop. Deaths will follow one after the other before this silly idea is dropped

I think there are a lot of good ideas for roads and motorways but some stupid ones as well, and poor design with some roads, I find it hard to believe some people do know about so called smart motorways, the question is do they work, well not always you still get held up so whats the point, why have we not restricted lorries to the inside lane on twin lane motorways instead of them holding up traffic for miles and miles trying to overtake another lorry followed by a second and third one, they tried this on the M11 on the hills and it worked well until they removed it which meant we were back to the hold ups and stupid drivers again, I also have to say there are too many lorries on the roads all doing about 8 to 10 miles to the gallon of fuel, why are a lot of these loads not going by rail ? Keith.

I had a "blow out" on a "smart", or rather a stupid, motorway. I love the idea that you cannot stop unless at a "refuge"... in reality I came to a halt and unable to proceed in under 50mtrs.... that was when the shredded front wheel shattered and the bodywork was on the floor. I was squarely on the old "hard shoulder" or lane 1 as it now is. I couldn't get away from the car as I was several hundred feet up on a viaduct. I've never been more scared reality is often different than "experts" simplistically think.