UK motorists are at risk of fatality when stationary on the hard shoulder of a smart motorway, with nine fatalities occurring on the smart motorways network in 2018.
First introduced in 2006 to improve traffic flow, smart motorways have been under heavy scrutiny, with doubts arising around their safety. Following two deaths on the same stretch of road in 2017 as a result of All Lane Running (ALR) systems, questions are being asked of Highways England’s approach to driver safety, with campaigners saying these fatalities could have been avoided.
An eight-year-old boy was killed in an incident on the M6 in Birmingham, where an ALR system was already in operation, just months after a fatal incident occurred on the same stretch of motorway.
Highways England has since carried out a review of smart motorways, and last month announced that the rollout of smart motorways would cease due to concerns over their safety.
Scott Hamilton-Cooper, Sales and Operations Director at AX, commented: “Roads are more congested than ever before, and schemes like smart motorways can play a big part in improving traffic management. “But the safety of motorist must remain the priority, and the authorities have shown that they share this view and are willing to review and even abandon such measures should they jeopardise the safety of drivers.”