The RAC has called on the government to consider reinstating hard shoulders on motorways where a survey found that two-thirds of people want to see their return.
Allowing cars to drive through the stopping lanes of parts of the motorway has been controversial since the creation of the Smart Motorway more than a decade ago, in an effort to avoid traffic jams.
Although national highways maintain that smart motorways, or all-lane running (ALR) motorways, are at least as safe as traditional motorways, fatal accidents have occurred as a result of cars running into stationary vehicles left without a hard shoulder.
In the years 2015 to 2019, 53 people are believed to have died on smart motorways, with at least four coroners citing a lack of hard shoulders playing a significant role in road deaths.
The RAC survey found that 62 percent of people would like to see a hard shoulder restore on smart motorways, while a similar proportion said they do not believe measures such as variable speed limits adequately compensate for their loss.
Less than a quarter (24%) said they support continuing the government’s current policy on the matter, which is to continue using smart motorways while increasing the number of emergency shelter areas and improving technology. which helps to spot stationary vehicles and motorists. Ignoring closed lane signs.
“Our research reveals the overwhelming power to feel about the safety of all lanes driving smart motorways in drivers of all ages,” said RAC Head of Road Policy Nicholas Laiss.
“It seems that the only thing that will really satisfy most drivers is hard shoulder restoration.
“The government is therefore faced with a difficult choice between continuing the unpopular all-lane motorway against the wishes of drivers or restoring the hard shoulder, effectively creating a three-lane controlled motorway with improved safety features. but with less overall capacity.”
Earlier this year, campaign group Smart Motorways Kill began gearing up to launch legal action that would effectively make motorways illegal without hard shoulders.
The group was founded by a woman whose husband was murdered along with another driver on Smart Motorway in 2019 as they tried to avoid oncoming traffic.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /