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Smart Motorways.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Jude Fawley, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

  2. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    The idea of capability for politicians becomes more and more appealing.
    Jamvic, vimeswithav, Laphroig and 2 others like this.
  3. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    There’s been quite a lot in the press about the number of deaths due to them. Quite rightly so as it is disgraceful. We were travelling on the M6 last October when someone had broken down on the ‘smart’ bit and everything had to suddenly get out of the way. How this concept was ever allowed to become a reality is beyond me.
  4. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    The Government is being far too casual in its response to this situation. It needs to take immediate action
    Jamvic and Aquamarina1234 like this.
  5. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I remember this issue [the lack of hard shoulder] being raised at the time... it was dismissed.

    Now 50+ are dead.

    Thing is... 'Smart' motorways were just brought in to expand the number of lanes on the cheap. They didn't want to spend the money necessary for 4th lanes, it'd upset the Greens and the cost of expanding the bridges would have been too much.

    So they went for a cheap option that kills people.
    Jamvic, Laphroig, hhhh and 3 others like this.
  6. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    In total agreement with all the above.
    Jamvic, grumpydogwoman and smoothnewt like this.
  7. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    As said above, it was a cheap but obviously dangerous 'quick fix' solution to the problem of road capacity. There are similarities with the use of (cheap, flammable) cladding on blocks of flats it seems to me. Both cheaper than the alternatives, both signed off by the government of the time, both cost lives.
    Alice K and Jamvic like this.
  8. BreakEven

    BreakEven New commenter

    I do find this one a hard one because the congestion on the motorways do cause such a massive issue and probably are a cause of many of the accidents that occur on there. I do find that smart motorways, where it doesn't solve the problem - can help with it.

    It's unfortunate this happens but accidents and deaths happen on non-smart motorways (and in fact anywhere) so surely it can't be a direct cause. I just think it's shifted some of the dangers that may be apparent when using a smart motorway compared to a non. After all, most accidents can happen anywhere and are mostly linked to driver awareness or error and not always the road/motorway.

    Without sounding harsh, i just find this a blame game to say 'smart motorways are the issue', rather than looking into what actually caused these accidents. I would imagine most of these 'incidents' would have been avoided if people actually paid attention to the road.
    border_walker likes this.
  9. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    So your car suffers a tyre blow-out. On a normal motorway you can stop on the hard shoulder, leave your vehicle and climb over the barrier to sit on a grassy bank until help arrives. You are relatively safe. If this happens on a smart motorway you've no way out and are literally a sitting target, waiting to be hit by a lorry. Paying attention to the road is irrelevant.
  10. BreakEven

    BreakEven New commenter

    But surely blaming smart motorways, you're implying that accidents don't happen on motorways with a hard shoulder - of course they do. Therefore, the actual issue is people not paying attention or adhering to speed limits/lane closures that are in place.

    I am not saying it's 100%, nothing really ever is but to say Smart Motorways is the issue really does imply that non smart were safe? they really aren't. As these smart motorways improve, they will be able to become safer but it does need people to actually pay attention to the X above the lane or the 60 miles speed limit that has been put in place, unfortunately, you'll find some people don't.

    Traffic - and the amount of it on these motorways cause accidents so they have to look into a way to relieve this. Not saying its the best way, but it works, in some parts to help with congestion.
    border_walker likes this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It seemed like a good idea and, when there are no breakdowns, it really does help traffic keep moving.


    The hard shoulder is necessary.
  12. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    1. if you have a breakdown on a motorway with a hard shoulder you've got half a chance of surviving.
    2. The problem is that the response to closing the lane on smart motorways does not always happen fast enough, hence the vast increase in near misses stated in the BBC piece in the OP.
    bombaysapphire and Jamvic like this.
  13. BreakEven

    BreakEven New commenter

    If someone is broke down, then that lane gets closed surely. It then therefore becomes it's own hard shoulder. As I mentioned above, it needs people to pay attention to that nice X above the lane. It's not 100% as some issues have come out with it, but it is improving.
    border_walker likes this.
  14. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    This figure is uninformative. What we need is a comparison between smart motorways and non-smart (dim?) ones with similar traffic volume.
    And we need to remember that the hard shoulder is not a place of safety. Friend of mine attending an accident on the hard shoulder, all blue lights going on his stationary but fortunately unoccupied ambulance, had it destroyed by a car ramming it from behind.
    Further point: many dual carriageway A roads have neither hard shoulder nor emergency bays. These have higher KSI rates than motorways. Perhaps we should start there with improvements?
  15. BreakEven

    BreakEven New commenter

    I agree - but thats my point with the improving thing. Not everything is 100%, but they're relatively new. As time goes on, surely this is something that will be improved upon. It just takes time and it takes people to actually pay attention when a speed limit is on or a lane is closed and sadly some really don't.

    In principle, smart motorways are an improvement for some parts. Also, I would see the above point if non smart had no accidents, no causalities etc - but it doesn't. Therefore, accidents are just inevitable, even with a hard shoulder.
    border_walker likes this.
  16. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Had a search and the best so far is:

    source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/britains-killer-motorways-38-people-21364420

    However, that doesn't account for a change in traffic density. I doubt it has increased 20x but it might be a factor.
    Jamvic likes this.
  17. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    It's expectation. You just don't expect to find a stationary vehicle in your path on a motorway when you're hammering along at 70mph. The technology's not up to the job.
  18. BreakEven

    BreakEven New commenter

    But surely you always plan for hazards? - for instance, if a car just did an emergency stop in front of you.

    This is what causes the accidents though, people imply that 'you don't expect to see that', no but then again, i'm sure the hazard perception test, even though it's not on the motorway, implies to just be ready for the unexpected?
    border_walker likes this.
  19. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Smart motorways will never cope with dumb drivers...(feels quite relevant to some of the classes I've taught)
  20. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    When I took school minibus training we were told the hard shoulder is the most dangerous part of any road. If you have to stop the vehicle you get everybody out immediately and over the barrier regardless of weather. The hard shoulder is not a safe place.

    That said, a car stopped in a live lane is also incredibly dangerous. The biggest hazard I routinely encounter on so called 'smart' motorways is a lack of lane discipline, with drivers routinely cruising in any damn lane they please instead of using the left lane by default. Even the matrix signs are having to remind drivers of this. It's getting worse too.
    Jamvic likes this.

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