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The AA will no longer let its breakdown rescue vehicles and crew stop on smart motorways to help stranded motorists.

The new policy arrives after a number of high-profile collisions which resulted in fatalities, with stationary vehicles being hit from behind at high speed.

Smart motorways have been criticised by various groups, and the families of those involved in severe accidents have now applied for a judicial review of the network which sees the hard shoulder turned into a normal lane.

The AA now asks its crews to stop at a safe location near to the customer’s stranded vehicle and to wait for the vehicle to be moved by Highways England.

Scott Hamilton-Cooper, Sales and Operations Director at AX, commented: “While traffic management is essential to ease congestion and reduce emissions, safety is far more important. It is now clear that with so many shocking incidents, and no doubt regular near misses we never hear about, that smart motorways are not the answer. If drivers are in distress, have broken down or been involved in an RTA, they should not have to fear for their safety at the side of the road.”

“We aren’t suggesting an all-out ban, but we support the AA’s position and will closely follow any judicial review that may transpire and the pending Department of Transport report.”

Further rollout of smart motorways has already been halted, but stretches of road where ALR systems have already been implemented could still be risking the safety of UK drivers.