'Smart' Motorways, an accident waiting to happen?

This idea has struck me as dangerous. Now an all-party group of MPs think the same thing.


It only needs one drugged-up HGV driver to hit a (say) SUV with a family in it having broken down. for calls to scrap there so-called 'smart' motorways.
 
This idea has struck me as dangerous. Now an all-party group of MPs think the same thing.


It only needs one drugged-up HGV driver to hit a (say) SUV with a family in it having broken down. for calls to scrap there so-called 'smart' motorways.
Considering the skill of an average driver and the (dis) attention they pay to signs, I think it's a stupid idea, especially on busy motorways.
 
I'd call that a fairly dumb motorway.

Around here our "smart" motorways have digital signs that change the speed limit to "better manage" traffic flow at peak travel times, which seems to mean, put them on a timer for when we think the traffic jam will show up, so it will be 30 MPH when no one is around, and 60 MPH when it is a parking lot in the rain you can't see through.

Your way does seem smarter in that it will be costing less money to cause more violations and accidents. Your lot really has that efficiency austerity thing down pat.
 
I'd call that a fairly dumb motorway.

Around here our "smart" motorways have digital signs that change the speed limit to "better manage" traffic flow at peak travel times, which seems to mean, put them on a timer for when we think the traffic jam will show up, so it will be 30 MPH when no one is around, and 60 MPH when it is a parking lot in the rain you can't see through.

Your way does seem smarter in that it will be costing less money to cause more violations and accidents. Your lot really has that efficiency austerity thing down pat.
I think EU motorways/freeways are lot more connected and better actively managed than U.S. ones. There are so many cameras, sensors and better road signs etc., that traffic speed limits usually, broadly, correspond to what's happening on the roads. Not always, but generally. That's my experience from having driven on both continents.
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
It's a very bad idea! It won't take long before drivers regard it as a constant alternative when they want to get around jams or overtake someone "blocking" the other two or three lanes. Accidents are thus pre-programmed.

Much the same happened to pedestrian traffic-lights. The original concept was that when the amber light starts to flash, it's OK to proceed provided there's no-one on the crossing. What now happens is that drivers take it as giving them permission to go, regardless of whether anyone's still crossing or not.

MsG
 
Given that they’ve been in existence for a good 4 or 5 yrs and haven’t resulted in a rise in deaths/serious injuries overall and that they’ve improved congestion in the areas where they’re used, notably on the M62 around Leeds (still not quick, but much more free flowing than previously) then I think they’ve shown their worth. Doesn’t need all motorway to be ‘smart’ though.

HGVs, and other vehicles, are perfectly capable at running into the back of people on hard shoulders and during normal congestion as it is. The incident in the article isn’t really relevant as it refers to an accident in road works, which is a different set of circumstances.
 
I think EU motorways/freeways are lot more connected and better actively managed than U.S. ones. There are so cameras, sensors and better road signs etc., that traffic speed limits usually, broadly, correspond to what's happening on the roads. Not always, but generally. That's my experience from having driven on both continents.
Yes, I am sure big brother will be watching, and actively managing. when the trucker on khat turns a minivan full of kids into red sauce on the smart shoulder.
 
Are they more or less dangerous than dual-carriage ways with 70 limits and no hard shoulder?
Good question.
Fundamentally, there are too many people in too many cars.
Things aren't going to improve, until that changes.
 
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aardvark64

Old-Salt
On the M4/M5 and M42 sections, the 'smart' bit is basically an excuse for more speed cameras. They are set to ~75mph max and are always active, even when the motorway section is not being managed 'actively'.
 

daz

LE
On the M4/M5 and M42 sections, the 'smart' bit is basically an excuse for more speed cameras. They are set to ~75mph max and are always active, even when the motorway section is not being managed 'actively'.
And the max speed limit is 70mph, so your point is what exactly?
 
It only needs one drugged-up HGV driver to hit a (say) SUV with a family in it having broken down. for calls to scrap there so-called 'smart' motorways.
That is a weak argument for scrapping Smart motorways.

Do you imagine that the drugged-up HGV driver doesn't pose the same risk to the broken down family filled SUV sitting on the hard shoulder I'd a non-Smart motorway? What about SUV's broken down on dual carriageways with the national speed limit in place?

The advice to all motorists on fast moving roadways us to get out of and away from their stricken vehicle.

While you’re waiting for help,
  • turn on your hazard lights
  • turn on your sidelights if visibility is poor or at night
  • get out of the vehicle, with any passengers, using the nearside doors (ie the doors furthest away from passing traffic)
  • lock all the doors except the front passenger door
  • ask your passengers to stay near the vehicle, on the embankment so they’re away from the hard shoulder
  • telephone the emergency services.
Why should that advice be any different simply because 'it's a smart motorway'?

I rather like them insofar as my M1 journeys, mostly between J29/J29A and Leicester/ Nottingham and Sheffield are always fast and continuously moving.
 
That is a weak argument for scrapping Smart motorways.

Do you imagine that the drugged-up HGV driver doesn't pose the same risk to the broken down family filled SUV sitting on the hard shoulder I'd a non-Smart motorway? What about SUV's broken down on dual carriageways with the national speed limit in place?

The advice to all motorists on fast moving roadways us to get out of and away from their stricken vehicle.

While you’re waiting for help,
  • turn on your hazard lights
  • turn on your sidelights if visibility is poor or at night
  • get out of the vehicle, with any passengers, using the nearside doors (ie the doors furthest away from passing traffic)
  • lock all the doors except the front passenger door
  • ask your passengers to stay near the vehicle, on the embankment so they’re away from the hard shoulder
  • telephone the emergency services.
Why should that advice be any different simply because 'it's a smart motorway'?

I rather like them insofar as my M1 journeys, mostly between J29/J29A and Leicester/ Nottingham and Sheffield are always fast and continuously moving.
How the hell do you lock all the doors except the front passenger door? This isn’t the 1970s
 

cowgoesmoo

Old-Salt
I think they're an excellent idea. I've noticed that the busy areas seem to be flowing better now with less stop-start queues. Plus lots of people don't know to use the extra lane so won't use it, resulting in me being able to fly past loads of slow moving traffic.

A lot of the people I know who don't like them are the type that thinks it ok to drive at 90+ in lane 3 regardless of traffic or weather conditions and resent being told (enforced) what speed to drive at.
 

daz

LE
Given that they’ve been in existence for a good 4 or 5 yrs and haven’t resulted in a rise in deaths/serious injuries overall and that they’ve improved congestion in the areas where they’re used, notably on the M62 around Leeds (still not quick, but much more free flowing than previously) then I think they’ve shown their worth. Doesn’t need all motorway to be ‘smart’ though.

HGVs, and other vehicles, are perfectly capable at running into the back of people on hard shoulders and during normal congestion as it is. The incident in the article isn’t really relevant as it refers to an accident in road works, which is a different set of circumstances.
Bit longer than that, the M42 dates back to 05/06 with what was know as "active traffic management", later to be renamed as smart motorways
 

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