Commenting on the publication of a report by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Roadside Rescue and Recovery, RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said:
“This report shines a light on the huge concerns that exist about the safety of all lane running smart motorways in the event of a breakdown. With more than two-thirds of drivers telling the RAC that the permanent removal of the hard shoulder compromises safety in the event of a breakdown, it is now abundantly clear things need to change. We also know that breaking down in a live lane carries a much higher risk than in a comparative place of safety such as a hard shoulder or an SOS area.
“We have consistently called for the roll-out of stopped vehicle detection radar technology to quickly identify stranded vehicles and additional SOS areas to give drivers a greater chance of reaching one in the event of an emergency, thereby reducing the collision risk. Alongside this, enforcement of lanes closed with red X signs and a smart motorway public information campaign will help improve safety.
“Increasing capacity on our major roads is important, however it is vital that everything is done to reduce the risk to drivers who break down on smart motorways.”