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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Smart motorways were introduced a number of years ago to allow for more traffic flow by taking away the 'safety' hard shoulder and making it into another lane for cars to travel in. This left stranded/brokendown motorists no where safe to leave their stationary car, if they broke down on the inner lane. (there are pull in emergency lay-by's but are far apart, and you may not be able to reach one before you car comes to a halt).

The M25 around London has the most lengths of smart motorway in the UK and figures have now been released that 35 people have died in the last 5 years with a massive amount of near misses, with moving traffic just missing stationary vehicles. Smart motorways are now dotted around the country taking away the continuous hard shoulder for emergency stopping. The Government is now going to have to review this situation, with regard to the number of deaths on Smart Motorways.

Note that in the UK even with a hard shoulder you and your passengers have to get out your stationary car and get off the motorway and onto the grass embankment for safety.

https://inews.co.uk/news/smart-motorways-deaths-grant-shapps-government-review-1375992
 

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I am fortunate that I do rarely use a motorway. When I have read about these smart Motorways I admit to being very concerned. Given that many motorists, old and young can't cope with Dual Carriageways a Smart Motorway is a recipe for disaster. I do wonder IF the bright people that came up with idea spent anytime with a Motorway Patrol. Beit Police or the DOT patrol officers. People in the main do not realise that if one breaksdown on a Motorway, it is very prudent to get as far away from your vehicle as possible. An HGV hitting a parked ( broken down) car at 60 mph makes a bit of a mess and debris flies quite an amazing distance. The human body is a bit more delicate than the tin box in which we ride.
I personally am glad there is a rethink on this. After all it was a cheap way of enlarging a Motorway and in the case of the M25 they have run out of room.

However I have a nasty feeling that economics will prevail and the Smart Motorway will live on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As you say Freddy, it was all down to economics, it was a cheaper and quick way to get another lane for congested routes.

I bet they will go down the cheaper route of just fitting more emergency laybys rather than add a new full hard shoulder. Its a pity safety goes downhill when it comes to saving money. But we will wait and see the recommendations.

Luckly for me in Scotland, we do not have many congested roads/motorways, maybe at peak times of workers commuting by car in and out of major cities, but that's it.
 
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