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How smart are smart motorways really?


If your vehicle goes wrong on a smart motorway

■ Move into the left-hand lane and turn on your hazard lights.

■ Exit at the next junction or services; or follow the orange SOS signs to an emergency refuge area, from where you can call for help using the free telephone.

If you can’t get off the motorway or to an emergency area:

■ Move your vehicle as close as possible to the left-hand verge, boundary or slip road.

■ If you feel that you can get out safely with any occupants, consider exiting your vehicle via a left-hand door, and wait behind the safety barrier if there is one.

■ Call 999 immediately.

If your car stops immediately in any lane on an ALR motorway:

■ Keep your seatbelts and hazard lights on and call 999 immediately.

■ Highways England will close the lane and send help.

Steps in the government’s action plan

In its Smart Motorway Safety Evidence Stocktake and Action Plan, published last year, the government set out 18 steps to improvement, including:

■ Ending the use of dynamic hard shoulders.

■ Faster roll-out of stopped vehicle detection.

■ Faster attendance at incidents by Highways England traffic officers.

■ New standard for spacing of emergency refuge areas.

■ Making emergency refuge areas more visible.

■ More signs displaying the distance to the next refuge area.

■ Better communication with drivers on what smart motorways are and how to use them.

■ Updating the Highway Code with driving advice for smart motorways.

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