Smart Motorways To Get New Safety Tech By September

National Highways has confirmed that new safety technology will be installed on the nation’s smart motorways by September…

New Safety Tech for Smart Motorways 

National Highways has confirmed that it’ll be adding new safety technology to smart motorways which lack a hard shoulder. The new technology will include the likes of hundreds of extra road signs, upgraded safety cameras and even radar. This tech is being installed across some 200 miles of road. All of the additions will be made by September 2022.

The introduction of the new safety technology follows the suspension of the construction of new all lane (ALR) running smart motorways. The decision was made by both National Highways and the Department for Transport following a number of serious and fatal accidents; often caused by vehicles becoming stranded on live lanes. As of now, the ALR scheme has been suspended for five years whilst safety and economic data is compiled.

Is it Enough for Drivers? 

Nicholas Lyes, the RAC’s head of roads policy, welcomed the new technology but wondered whether it’ll be enough for drivers. He said, “while good progress is being made in upgrading existing smart motorways by installing stopped-vehicle detection technology and more refuge area signage, the key question is whether these changes are enough to reassure drivers; many of whom firmly believe that removing the hard shoulder compromises safety”.

He added, “the Government is keen to point out that ALR smart motorways tend to have a better overall safety record than conventional motorways. But the safety comparisons with other types of smart motorways are less impressive”.

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