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The danger of Smart Motorways

The ongoing increase in the amount of Smart motorways being rolled out across the UK is causing real concern that the safety of drivers is being put in jeopardy.

There are around 350 miles of Smart motorway in the UK with many more miles under construction.

Grant Schapps, the Transport Secretary, has admitted that the number of deaths on Smart motorways between 2015 to 2019 is higher than previously estimated. Particularly dangerous are 'All Lanes Running' (ALR) motorways, where there is no hard shoulder. This means that should a car break down, the stranded motorist is placed in an incredibly dangerous position.

What can be done?

Irwin Mitchell, which represents families whose loved ones have been killed on smart motorways, commissioned a report earlier this year which concluded that ALRs have the “lowest level of intrinsic safety” when compared to any other form of motorway. The report identified ALRs as having the highest rates of people killed or seriously injured of all motorways.

More enforcement cameras are needed on long stretches of Smart motorways to deter speeding, and better tech is required to quickly identify broken down vehicles and to close lanes as quickly as possible.

I believe more refuge areas are also required should motorists run into difficulty and to avoid a vehicle being stranded on the motorway

Sixty three deaths over four years is incredibly sad and action needs to be taken quickly by the Government to avoid this ongoing and needless loss of life.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting families following collisions on smart motorways  at our dedicated serious injury section

The number of people killed on smart motorways is 'significantly' more than than the initial figure put forward by the Transport Secretary, according to Labour.

Last year a Panorama report said the Government said there had been 38 fatalities between 2015 and 2019, which Grant Shapps later revealed was 39.

But Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon told MPs a 'stocktake' has shown 63 people lost their lives on the controversial all lane running (ALR) smart motorways over the same period.”