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Smart Motorways

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Hymie | 10:05 Tue 19th Jan 2021 | News
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(wherever the term ‘smart motorway’ is used - read ‘very dangerous motorway, where if you breakdown and remain in your vehicle, there is a high probability you will die’)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9160075/Lorry-driver-tells-inquest-avoided-killing-two-hard-shoulder.html

This story interested me for a number of reasons.
One being the HGV driver who was jailed as a result of the accident – had he had better legal representation, I don’t think he would be in jail.

Consider yourself driving an HGV on the inside lane on a rainy night on an unlit stretch of a smart motorway at 60mph. Ahead of you, just around a curve, is a broken-down vehicle (with no lights – it’s broken-down). You have to see the vehicle and react – your braking distance may not stop you in time, and with vehicles in the lane to your right, you would have no opportunity to avoid a crash.

If the government renamed smart motorways (as outlined above), more people would be aware of the dangers they face should they breakdown on one.

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Should have added to the above post; should you break-down on a smart motorway – my advice is to get out of the vehicle as soon as you can, and wait for an HGV to plough into it.
It doesn't matter what they call them, these smart motorways are death traps. When somebody breaks down or has a puncture, there is nowhere to go except the hard shoulder. If it's designated as part of the normal road it's inevitable there will be accidents. The hard shoulder is there to prevent deaths not cause them. This nonsense should be banned immediately.
So you think the availability of a hard shoulder ensures perfect safety do you? Think again:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2084806/Lorry-driver-drifted-hard-shoulder-killed-men-instantly-stopped-change-tyre.html
Any driver should drive at a speed appropriate to the conditions.
There are very few tight bends or blind summits on motorways.
There have been motorway crashes where a breakdown vehicle in the hard shoulder, all lights blazing, has been struck.
Etch, that lorry driver was not driving within the law and had he been in another lane he could well have drifted in to other moving traffic. Totally different scenario to the one in the OP where there was no chance of an accident if the broken-down vehicles had been on the hard shoulder.
they say if you breakdown go to the nearest pull (in every 1.5 miles)
so what if your engine dies and it just stops! smart ? no death traps from the beginning !
Etch, I never said the hard shoulder was perfectly safe, there is no such thing on any road system. However, to use something that was installed to make the motorways safer and change its purpose to something totally unsafe is ludicrous.
Smart motorways would be a great idea if only everybody was a brilliant driver all the time. The problem is that not everybody is a brilliant driver all the time and, because of that, smart motorways increase the risk of serious injury and death when compared to normal roads.
Smart motorways are a very good idea....but ONLY if you build them to the recommended specs.
The Refuges should have been every quarter or a mile, or so, which ought to have enabled many people to have coasted into them if they had a sudden problem. However, the penny-pinching bean-counters decided to put them in at every 2500m, or so, thereby strangling a good idea at birth and putting the life of every motorway-user at risk.
Also, the number, placement and real-time up-dating of the warning gantries is insufficient; the cctv system does not yet cover the whole of the Smart Motorway system leading to dangerous blind-spots.
I think the “ smart motorway” idea was trialed on the M42 where safety areas were at a set distance. The trail was deemed a success. Future smart motorways had safe zones at greater distances.
"Smart Motorways" - gawd where do I start? every death should be laid at the door of the idiot that thought this could ever work. There are still converting stretches of motorway now. If there's no hard shoulder then when someone breaks down they are inevitably in the path of the traffic unless the vehicle knows to only break down when going by a "refuge" - madness utter madness!
etch: "So you think the availability of a hard shoulder ensures perfect safety do you? Think again: " - perfect example of the "so" rule, AH would love that! No one says the hard shoulder is safe, but it's a dam sight safer than stopping on a live lane!
JTT: 11:17, rubbish, doesn't matter how the "refuges" are spread you are never going to get a car to only breakdown when one is available to nip into. The penny pinching bean counters have put less "refuges" in than specified but that's really not the point. The only way this can work is if there is a continuous "refuge" running to the left of lane 1, ....hang on!
Driving on a smart motorway should be safer than driving along an unlit country road at night. The problem is they call it a motorway, and people think they can do "60 mph on a rainy night as they approach a blind curve in a HGV without the ability to leave their lane" (to quote the OP). The problem isn't the road, it's the drivers - all the drivers, including me, as we can't all be perfect drivers all the time.
ellipsis, I take your point but if, as a society, we know it's the drivers then introducing something that results in accidents when we know what drivers are like is seriously lacking in judgement. We can't wave a wand and make everyone a better driver but we can refrain from changes that we know will induce accidents from the drivers we have. Motorway driving is the safest, we all go in the same direction, no junctions, etc but we do not all drive along expecting there to be a parked vehicle in our lane and many are surprised when there is and do not react in time and even if they do they can get taken out by the vehicle behind. The whole problem is caused by removing the hard shoulder.
I agree, TTT, we can't change the drivers, so we shouldn't have those roads.

It's like the old three lane roads where it was legal to be in the middle lane no matter what direction you were travelling in ... nuts!
Stupid idea. Cheaper than road widening. Makes lives cheap. Scrap it......now.
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The coroner said he will be writing to Highways England and the Secretary of State for Transport (Grant Shapps) recommending a review of smart motorways.

I believe that Highways England and Grant Shapps are legally bound to respond to the coroner’s concerns (having written to them) – this could drop them in the mire if they do not adequately respond.
Family members of persons who later die on a so called smart motorway could cite the coroner’s concern and HWE & Grant Shapps failure to act; strengthening their litigation case for a wrongful death suit.
I don't think SMART motorways were a good idea. If you break down om ANY road get a clear distance from your car and call for support.

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