Highways England continue to state that smart motorways are “as safe as, or safer than, conventional motorways”.
However, safety on smart motorways, which have no safety lane / hard shoulder, just live traffic lanes, has repeatedly called into question and criticised by various interested parties, including British courts.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps continues to defend the added serious risk to life by defending the concept of smart motorways, but accepted in spring 2021 that they should be safer.
In April 2021 Highways England was referred to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) alleging manslaughter of an individual concerning an incident on the M1 smart motorways section in 2018.
An inquest into the death of 2 men near junction 34 on the same motorway stated that it was the lack of a hard shoulder that contributed to their deaths.
A Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire has called for all smart motorways to be scrapped, citing they are a “constant danger” and “inherently unsafe and dangerous and should be abandoned ”.
Between 2015 and 2020, 38 people had officially been declared killed on Britain’s smart motorways, but the Government continues to increase the amount of mileage of these killer roads.
Smart Motorways, New laws and new fines.
The Government have introduced another 6 laws to cover the blame for motorists who fall foul of this new dangerous means of driving. Putting profits before lives.
There are new fines for the new smart motorway offences, creating funds for the agencies involved.
The RAC gives their advice here as to how to drive safe on smart motorways
Highways England response here
A parliamentary inquiry into the controversial smart motorway programme has been delayed as key evidence sits unpublished, June 2021.
Campaigns against smart motorways :-