'Smart' Motorways, an accident waiting to happen?

themutiny

Old-Salt
London, somewhere.

Got much coverage, and comment from one pundit that he would never give way to a blue light again if that were the outcome.

Something (rightly) about the judge being a clown, an' all.
I failed my first motorcycle test. Apparently I “hesitated“ at a roundabout. I didn’t hesitate, I stopped intentionally to give way to the ambulance with blue lights and siren sounding. Examiner was a first class bitch and I subsequently discovered had quite some notoriety.
 
I failed my first motorcycle test. Apparently I “hesitated“ at a roundabout. I didn’t hesitate, I stopped intentionally to give way to the ambulance with blue lights and siren sounding. Examiner was a first class bitch and I subsequently discovered had quite some notoriety.
My driving examiner during RMP driver training was called Harry the Bastard, because he was!
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
My driving examiner during RMP driver training was called Harry the Bastard, because he was!
Mine was called John Hazzard.

I kid you not. Regrettably he didn't have an orange Dodge Charger, but a screaming 1200cc Datsun 120Y.

Taught both my brother & myself. We both passed first time.
 

Chef

LE
Mine was called John Hazzard.

I kid you not. Regrettably he didn't have an orange Dodge Charger, but a screaming 1200cc Datsun 120Y.

Taught both my brother & myself. We both passed first time.
Your examiner was also your instructor?

No conflict of interest there then;)
 

anglo

LE
This is why smart motorways are a death trap

This is what should have been up and working from the day any motorway is
operated as a Smart motorway

We're upgrading motorways across the country with technology which detects stopped vehicles. Every motorway where the hard shoulder has been permanently converted to a live traffic lane will have the new radar-based technology by the end of September 2022.

This new stopped vehicle detection will enhance the existing systems that work together to help drivers feel safe and be safer on motorways without a hard shoulder. Already motorways have a system called MIDAS (Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signalling) which uses sensors to monitor traffic volumes and automatically set signs and signals as the motorway becomes more congested. Our upgraded motorways also include technology, Red X signs which close lanes to other traffic when a stopped vehicle is identified, emergency areas that are set back from the road for drivers to pull into, and signs and signals which can alert drivers to hazards and change the speed limit, if necessary.
How it works

We will install new radar units at the side of the road to monitor the motorway in both directions, detecting vehicles that have stopped.

The advantage of this new system is it is specifically designed to detect a stationary vehicle, typically in 20 seconds, and alert a control room operator who can see the incident on camera, close lanes and dispatch a National Highways traffic officer to attend to the stopped vehicle.

Using stopped vehicle detection means that there is a significant reduction in time taken for the control room operators to be notified of problems, to verify the presence of stationary vehicles and get help deployed more quickly.

But, then cost-cutting and tech systems not working as they should, an inquiry came up with this

During our inquiry, we heard that

emergency refuge areas, which provide an alternative place to stop in the absence of the hard shoulder, are located up to 2.5 km apart. Some 63% of drivers believe this is too far.31 Many of those we heard from during our inquiry agreed.32 According to the RAC, 79% of drivers are concerned that they would not be able to reach the next emergency refuge area if they breakdown.33 Design standards have been changed to shorten the distance on new schemes, but no decision has yet been taken on whether to apply this new standard to existing schemes.
CCTV cameras on smart motorways are not routinely monitored.35 Instead, they are used by control room staff to verify and respond to incidents We have found no up-to-date, reliable information on the time it takes for live-lane incidents to be identified.
stopped vehicle detection will not be rolled out across all all-lane running motorways until September 2022, some six years after the then Transport Committee was told that the technology worked and that it would be part of the standard rollout for these schemes (see Box 1). There are also serious concerns about the accuracy and reliability of this technology.37
compliance and enforcement of Red X signs remains problematic. Cameras capable of enforcing compliance will not be fully rolled out until September 2022 (see Box 2).
emergency services and traffic patrol officers still struggle to access incidents in a timely manner on all-lane running motorways, especially when traffic is congested.


Turns out, the so-called smart motorways are not actually smart
And didn't work properly, from the day they opened.

Please stop blaming the drivers
 

Chef

LE
I wonder how much traffic is going back onto A roads to avoid smart motorways?
 

wheel

LE
Six of us were in a mini bus taxi returning home from holiday. 01:10 hours Sunday morning M6 southbound between J17 & 16. Very light traffic good road conditions. Lane 1 Closed Red X signs for at least 2 miles. Speed reductions over that distance 60-50 - 40. We were rear ended by some twat in a Golf doing an estimated 80mph. The minibus crumpled rear side windows blew out.Thank Fu#k for the cushioning effect of our luggage in the back.
We coasted to a stop just behind the highways agency/England vehicle with all its lights flashing, the officer was absolutely fantastic. Kept us safe and had police on the scene very quickly.
Idiot driver has been summonsed for Driving with undue care and attention.
Of the seven people (including driver) in the van four have pretty serious whiplash injuries and are still receiving treatment some four months later.
No matter what technologies are employed to make the Smart motorways safe there will always be idiot drivers that will render them useless.
 
I'm very happy with my eejit motorway. No MIDAS, no gantries, no CCTV, no SVD, no red Xs, no speed cameras, no street lights, full hard shoulder. In fact, I can close a lane and make no difference to the speed of the traffic whatsoever.
 
Meanwhile, the M27 appears to now be heading back to being a Smart Motorway... although no particular indication of when (if?) it's going to stop being a cone store and a 50 limit throughout!
 
Six of us were in a mini bus taxi returning home from holiday. 01:10 hours Sunday morning M6 southbound between J17 & 16. Very light traffic good road conditions. Lane 1 Closed Red X signs for at least 2 miles. Speed reductions over that distance 60-50 - 40. We were rear ended by some twat in a Golf doing an estimated 80mph. The minibus crumpled rear side windows blew out.Thank Fu#k for the cushioning effect of our luggage in the back.
We coasted to a stop just behind the highways agency/England vehicle with all its lights flashing, the officer was absolutely fantastic. Kept us safe and had police on the scene very quickly.
Idiot driver has been summonsed for Driving with undue care and attention.
Of the seven people (including driver) in the van four have pretty serious whiplash injuries and are still receiving treatment some four months later.
No matter what technologies are employed to make the Smart motorways safe there will always be idiot drivers that will render them useless.

It’s rather shitty that you were run into, but look on the bright side.

Courts love a compo face. Best get practicing.
 
Last edited:
This is why smart motorways are a death trap

This is what should have been up and working from the day any motorway is
operated as a Smart motorway

We're upgrading motorways across the country with technology which detects stopped vehicles. Every motorway where the hard shoulder has been permanently converted to a live traffic lane will have the new radar-based technology by the end of September 2022.

This new stopped vehicle detection will enhance the existing systems that work together to help drivers feel safe and be safer on motorways without a hard shoulder. Already motorways have a system called MIDAS (Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signalling) which uses sensors to monitor traffic volumes and automatically set signs and signals as the motorway becomes more congested. Our upgraded motorways also include technology, Red X signs which close lanes to other traffic when a stopped vehicle is identified, emergency areas that are set back from the road for drivers to pull into, and signs and signals which can alert drivers to hazards and change the speed limit, if necessary.
How it works

We will install new radar units at the side of the road to monitor the motorway in both directions, detecting vehicles that have stopped.

The advantage of this new system is it is specifically designed to detect a stationary vehicle, typically in 20 seconds, and alert a control room operator who can see the incident on camera, close lanes and dispatch a National Highways traffic officer to attend to the stopped vehicle.

Using stopped vehicle detection means that there is a significant reduction in time taken for the control room operators to be notified of problems, to verify the presence of stationary vehicles and get help deployed more quickly.

But, then cost-cutting and tech systems not working as they should, an inquiry came up with this

During our inquiry, we heard that

emergency refuge areas, which provide an alternative place to stop in the absence of the hard shoulder, are located up to 2.5 km apart. Some 63% of drivers believe this is too far.31 Many of those we heard from during our inquiry agreed.32 According to the RAC, 79% of drivers are concerned that they would not be able to reach the next emergency refuge area if they breakdown.33 Design standards have been changed to shorten the distance on new schemes, but no decision has yet been taken on whether to apply this new standard to existing schemes.
CCTV cameras on smart motorways are not routinely monitored.35 Instead, they are used by control room staff to verify and respond to incidents We have found no up-to-date, reliable information on the time it takes for live-lane incidents to be identified.
stopped vehicle detection will not be rolled out across all all-lane running motorways until September 2022, some six years after the then Transport Committee was told that the technology worked and that it would be part of the standard rollout for these schemes (see Box 1). There are also serious concerns about the accuracy and reliability of this technology.37
compliance and enforcement of Red X signs remains problematic. Cameras capable of enforcing compliance will not be fully rolled out until September 2022 (see Box 2).
emergency services and traffic patrol officers still struggle to access incidents in a timely manner on all-lane running motorways, especially when traffic is congested.


Turns out, the so-called smart motorways are not actually smart
And didn't work properly, from the day they opened.

Please stop blaming the drivers
And the reason ERAs are so far apart? Highways England Smart Motorway Team "value engineered" it so the original lesser spacing could be increased. It would be wrong of you to think that was a cost cutting measure. Just like reducing the number of signalling gantries wasn't a cost-cutting exercise, goodness me no.

Well I say "wrong" but I'm not exactly telling the truth there. Strikethrough the word "exactly" by the way.

SVD remains "problematical". It always will TBH. We won't mention any blind spots that the system, when it finally gets deployed, will inevitably have either, shall we? You know, those blind spots where one can guarantee someone will get killed in within a year or two at best. It would be amusing to ask NH what coverage SVD will give - their answer will not include the value "100%".
 
Six of us were in a mini bus taxi returning home from holiday. 01:10 hours Sunday morning M6 southbound between J17 & 16. Very light traffic good road conditions. Lane 1 Closed Red X signs for at least 2 miles. Speed reductions over that distance 60-50 - 40. We were rear ended by some twat in a Golf doing an estimated 80mph. The minibus crumpled rear side windows blew out.Thank Fu#k for the cushioning effect of our luggage in the back.
We coasted to a stop just behind the highways agency/England vehicle with all its lights flashing, the officer was absolutely fantastic. Kept us safe and had police on the scene very quickly.
Idiot driver has been summonsed for Driving with undue care and attention.
Of the seven people (including driver) in the van four have pretty serious whiplash injuries and are still receiving treatment some four months later.
No matter what technologies are employed to make the Smart motorways safe there will always be idiot drivers that will render them useless.

But please stop blaming drivers ^~
 

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