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Smart motorway safety reforms - RAC reaction

News   •   Jan 26, 2020 18:52 GMT

Reacting to a report by BBC Panorama that indicates smart motorways are to be fitted with radar technology and more SOS areas in order to improve safety, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said:

“A commitment to install stopped vehicle detection technology on the whole smart motorway network would be a welcome step and something the RAC has called for consistently in recent years.

"RAC research suggests that more than two-thirds of drivers believe that permanently removing the hard shoulder compromises safety in the event of a breakdown. Simply ploughing on with the status quo regardless isn’t an option anymore. However, three years to install this across the network is a long time to wait and questions must be asked as to why this hasn’t already been rolled out universally to date. In the meantime, we would suggest Highways England gives consideration to installing extra cameras to help pick up vehicles in trouble on live lanes to help mitigate for the delay. It is vital that drivers have confidence in the road infrastructure that they are using.

“In addition to this, we have long said the distance between SOS areas was too big so we would welcome a commitment to install more to increase the chances of vehicles being able to reach one in the event of a breakdown and a widescale public information campaign.”