'Smart' Motorways, an accident waiting to happen?

Off the top of my head..

1) Require people to prove they can drive on a motorway before we let them drive on them. You can get your licence and immediately drive at 70mph down a motorway despite no-one ever giving you any instruction or examining your ability to do it safely. You can't drive down a 30mph road past a school or a NSL dual carriageway without it but you can on a motorway for some reason.
2) Stop allowing people to drive on foreign licences for extended periods. e.g: You can pass you test in India by driving 50 yards, turning left and stopping, and this entitles you to drive in the UK for 12 months. Mexico doesn't even require a test to be taken, but you can drive in the UK for 12 months.
3) Require a refresher test every 10 years at the same time as renewing your driving licence. Things change over time, some people who are driving now passed their tests before motorways even existed in the UK. One of the problems with smart motorways is that people who don't often use them don't understand what they are or how they work.
4) Have dedicated traffic police, and more of them. And not dragged off to fill holes elsewhere. How often do you see police out on patrol or acting as a visual deterrent compared to a decade or two ago. Multiple studies have shown that the chances of being caught have a larger impact on people behaviour than the penalties for being caught.
5) Stop relying on technology to police the roads. If your vehicle is taxed, insured and you slow down for speed cameras your chance of being caught for drink/drug/dangerous driving/texting is virtually nil. Even if caught on dashcam you're unlikely to be prosecuted - one look at the amount of dashcam footage uploaded to the internet shows the amount of times the police haven't done anything as the driver couldn't be identified.

In a normal year I do about 50-60k, mostly on the motorways. I see the benefits of the smoother flowing traffic and reduced delays they've brought.
Those are all very sensible ideas
 
The motorways themselves can also be improved and I think personally that these cheap expansion motorways have too many drawbacks simply to improve traffic flow. They're too dangerous
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
Why would the Germans have a lot more experience of motorways? We've had them since 1958, so unless you're only counting those over the age of 80, British drivers have always had them.
The Gemans have had "Autobahnen" since the 1930s - although the first "Autobahn" was actually constructed in Italy in the 1920s. However, it's not about who's had them longer, but rather the relative size of the UK to Gerrmany and the dense network of "Autobahnen" criss-crossing the country. Relative size also comes into it because of the sheer number of vehicles on the road, especially in the UK, and the fact that learner drivers in Germany actually have to have (I think) ten lessons on the "Autobahn" before they can take their test.

That brings up another point. You can only learn to drive in Germany through a licences driving-school teacher. The regulations mandate that learners have to know how the brakes work, know how the steering works etc. That doesn't make them mechanics, but gives them a better idea of how their jam-jar actually works. They're also taught to "read" the road to avoid what could become a problem, and not to look at the vehicle in front, but rather look "through" it to anticipate taking action for any likely issues.

What I've found on UK roads is that there's a complete disconnect between driver, vehiclle and road (conditions). They learn the controls on a rote basis, backed up by practical experience during their training, but they have no real idea of what they're doing - the old "confusing brake and throttle" syndrome. In my personal experience, the better car drivers are those who've rode motorcyles and then switched. They have to "read" the road as a matter of course on a bike and continue the practice in a car.

MsG
 
The difference is expectations. What do you expect not to do on a motorway that you are constantly expecting to do on any other class of road? The answer is simple.

Stop.

Ok, so you want to drive from Bristol (hellhole) to Glasgow (Hellhole). How are you going to do it? On A or B class roads or on a motorway? The answer is motorway because you know full well that providing your tank is full, once you get on the motorway, you won't need to stop or, (with a fair wind), drop below 50-ish for the entire journey.

You know for a cast iron fact you won't be able to do that on A/B roads due to junctions, tractors, pedestrian crossings, etc.

So once you've been on the motorway for over half an hour or so, the vast majority of drivers won't be paying quite as much attention to the driving task as they would be on lower class roads. I don't care how good a driver you are, if you're being honest with yourself, you know this to be true.

Thus you are more likely to be caught out on a motorway than on another class of road, because the normal free-flow of the journey has lulled you into a false sense of security. Take away the hard shoulder and that vehicle in front that would normally pull over onto it is now stopped in the nearside lane. The platoon of lorries in front of you might be able to pull out to pass it but each one will pull over that little bit closer to the stopped vehicle until one of them doesn't have enough time to react and then...

Or it could be a driver who has been at the wheel for too long and is dozing. WHACK!

You can't account for human nature but you can mitigate against it, The hard shoulder is mitigation. Lack of hard shoulder on a route where you don't expect to have to stop or come across a vehicle in a live lane isn't.

Or you can try not driving like a ********, how the **** some people on here have manage to survive on motorways is a mystery to me. If a car breaks down in the middle or the fast lane, everyone coming up with shit excuses on here about the lack of a hard shoulder would plough into it.

If a driver is falling asleep at the wheel. then hes a ****, its got nothing to do with smart motorways.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Off the top of my head..

1) Require people to prove they can drive on a motorway before we let them drive on them. You can get your licence and immediately drive at 70mph down a motorway despite no-one ever giving you any instruction or examining your ability to do it safely. You can't drive down a 30mph road past a school or a NSL dual carriageway without it but you can on a motorway for some reason.
2) Stop allowing people to drive on foreign licences for extended periods. e.g: You can pass you test in India by driving 50 yards, turning left and stopping, and this entitles you to drive in the UK for 12 months. Mexico doesn't even require a test to be taken, but you can drive in the UK for 12 months.
3) Require a refresher test every 10 years at the same time as renewing your driving licence. Things change over time, some people who are driving now passed their tests before motorways even existed in the UK. One of the problems with smart motorways is that people who don't often use them don't understand what they are or how they work.
4) Have dedicated traffic police, and more of them. And not dragged off to fill holes elsewhere. How often do you see police out on patrol or acting as a visual deterrent compared to a decade or two ago. Multiple studies have shown that the chances of being caught have a larger impact on people behaviour than the penalties for being caught.
5) Stop relying on technology to police the roads. If your vehicle is taxed, insured and you slow down for speed cameras your chance of being caught for drink/drug/dangerous driving/texting is virtually nil. Even if caught on dashcam you're unlikely to be prosecuted - one look at the amount of dashcam footage uploaded to the internet shows the amount of times the police haven't done anything as the driver couldn't be identified.

In a normal year I do about 50-60k, mostly on the motorways. I see the benefits of the smoother flowing traffic and reduced delays they've brought.
when the M5 was first mooted, and allowance was given to each Constabulary to build and maintain a fleet of patrol vehicles, and to monitor the motorway at all hours every day on the sections that passed through their County
I was told that it was a substantial amount of moeny and index linked, and as far as I am aware still paid
odd then that many counties no longer have traffic Police to cover it
 

Le_addeur_noir

On ROPS
On ROPs
I agree with your post and would like to add the point that many drivers have been given licences in exchange a for a foreign one. Therefore, they have not received any tuition on the way we drive in the UK or what is expected of road users.
And a lot of foreign licences can be brought with no test taken.
 

Chef

LE
This is the way the Germans do it. They've a lot more experience with motorways than the Brits and also at much higher speeds. But when there's a prang, this happens:

MsG
What you have there is a three lane motorway with a hard shoulder. The traffic has a spare lane's worth of space to manouevre in. Rather like standard British motorways.

A smart motorway would be three lanes of traffic and nowhere to go.

You're not comparing like with like.
 
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.

You would be justified in saying 'I told you so'.
 
Or you can try not driving like a ********, how the **** some people on here have manage to survive on motorways is a mystery to me. If a car breaks down in the middle or the fast lane, everyone coming up with shit excuses on here about the lack of a hard shoulder would plough into it.

If a driver is falling asleep at the wheel. then hes a ****, its got nothing to do with smart motorways.
Many drivers are beyond terrible. We know this. The problem is the risk they pose to other road users.

As I said earlier, we either remove the terrible drivers from the road (probably impossible to do) or we make the roads foolproof so as to protect reasonable road users from others' stupidity.

Removing the hard shoulder makes it easier for retards to cause accidents.

When dealing with the public, you have to cater for the lowest common denominator.
 
Many drivers are beyond terrible. We know this. The problem is the risk they pose to other road users.

As I said earlier, we either remove the terrible drivers from the road (probably impossible to do) or we make the roads foolproof so as to protect reasonable road users from others' stupidity.

Removing the hard shoulder makes it easier for retards to cause accidents.

When dealing with the public, you have to cater for the lowest common denominator.

Best put a hard shoulder on all roads plus reduce the speed limit across the country to 20Mph then.
 
Best put a hard shoulder on all roads plus reduce the speed limit across the country to 20Mph then.
Reductio ad absurdum.

I am arguing that smart motorways are dangerous because removing the hard shoulder allows retards to be dangerous.

I also stated that Smart Motorways were only introduced as a means to generate revenue thorough fines.

The additional revenues Smart motorways will generate are not worth the cost in lives to the public.

Your argument is that because some drivers are bad, we should just accept all risk and when it goes wrong, blame the bad drivers.

My retort is that this is unhelpful, as pointing the finger doesn't help bring the dead back.

I propose that it is probably impossible to remove all bad drivers from the roads. Therefore we should take reasonable steps to mitigate against them.

Scrapping Smart Motorways is a reasonable step. Putting hard shoulders on all roads is not a reasonable step. Reducing the speed limit to 20 mph is definitely not a reasonable step.
 
Reductio ad absurdum.

I am arguing that smart motorways are dangerous because removing the hard shoulder allows retards to be dangerous.

I also stated that Smart Motorways were only introduced as a means to generate revenue thorough fines.

The additional revenues Smart motorways will generate are not worth the cost in lives to the public.

Your argument is that because some drivers are bad, we should just accept all risk and when it goes wrong, blame the bad drivers.

My retort is that this is unhelpful, as pointing the finger doesn't help bring the dead back.

I propose that it is probably impossible to remove all bad drivers from the roads. Therefore we should take reasonable steps to mitigate against them.

Scrapping Smart Motorways is a reasonable step. Putting hard shoulders on all roads is not a reasonable step. Reducing the speed limit to 20 mph is definitely not a reasonable step.
If you don't speed you don't get fined. You also have less chance of having a crash.

If you reduce the speed to 20mph almost all crashes will be avoidable/survivable.
What you mean is, that its reasonable for some people to die because you don't want to drive at a slow pace.
 

anglo

LE
If you need to look after spastics who cant drive, then you don't pick and chose what roads to be safe on.
If you are driving on a smart motorway, you break down, and you can't get to a safe area it means
you are a shit driver, I take it that you have never broken down, because if you have it means you are
a shit driver, that break down you had could have been on a smart motorway
,
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
The Gemans have had "Autobahnen" since the 1930s - although the first "Autobahn" was actually constructed in Italy in the 1920s. However, it's not about who's had them longer, but rather the relative size of the UK to Gerrmany and the dense network of "Autobahnen" criss-crossing the country. Relative size also comes into it because of the sheer number of vehicles on the road, especially in the UK, and the fact that learner drivers in Germany actually have to have (I think) ten lessons on the "Autobahn" before they can take their test.

That brings up another point. You can only learn to drive in Germany through a licences driving-school teacher. The regulations mandate that learners have to know how the brakes work, know how the steering works etc. That doesn't make them mechanics, but gives them a better idea of how their jam-jar actually works. They're also taught to "read" the road to avoid what could become a problem, and not to look at the vehicle in front, but rather look "through" it to anticipate taking action for any likely issues.

What I've found on UK roads is that there's a complete disconnect between driver, vehiclle and road (conditions). They learn the controls on a rote basis, backed up by practical experience during their training, but they have no real idea of what they're doing - the old "confusing brake and throttle" syndrome. In my personal experience, the better car drivers are those who've rode motorcyles and then switched. They have to "read" the road as a matter of course on a bike and continue the practice in a car.

MsG
As usual spouting shite about something that you have no knowledge of.

You haven't got a car and you don't drive. You have no understanding of modern road conditions.

Do fuck off back to the Trump thread, there's a dear.
 
If you are driving on a smart motorway, you break down, and you can't get to a safe area it means
you are a shit driver, I take it that you have never broken down, because if you have it means you are
a shit driver, that break down you had could have been on a smart motorway
,

The shit drivers are the bellends who cant brake for a vehicle that has stopped in front of them. How do people manage on a motorway when cars stop for any reason?

If you break down in any lane apart from the hard shoulder how do you manage?

How do you manage when you breakdown anywhere else without a hard shoulder?
 

DaManBugs

LE
Book Reviewer
As usual spouting shite about something that you have no knowledge of.

You haven't got a car and you don't drive. You have no understanding of modern road conditions.

Do fuck off back to the Trump thread, there's a dear.
And yet another of the ARRSE stalking weirdos makes an appearance! It's Really Basic Mong Khunt himself.:p

Still, at least you have yet another of my posts that you can "dumb", eh, you moronic, obsessive ghunt!

MsG
 

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