A report from the BBC has claimed that drivers caught offending on smart motorways could be given education rather than a punitive punishment, due to a lack of understanding of how to properly use the new style of road.
Figures suggest an 18 per cent rise in the number of people caught using the hard shoulder illegally, with 1,014 tickets being issued in the past financial year.
Whenever there is the introduction of a new kind of road, or new rule, of course there must be adequate awareness raised, and leniency for those caught accidentally breaking the law due to a lack of awareness.
Education courses would be beneficial, and RoSPA is in favour of education for those drivers found to be genuinely mistaken when using smart motorways incorrectly. Education courses can help drivers to rectify their errors, so that they are not repeated. Any new course should be correctly evaluated to ensure that it is delivering positive safety outcomes.
However there are of course those who deliberately flout the law, that must be dealt with appropriately.
The discussion has also reignited the debate over the safety of all-lane running motorways. These differ from dynamic hard shoulder running – where the hard shoulder can be opened at busy periods – in that the hard shoulder is a permanent running lane.
As Louise Ellman, chairman of the Transport Select Committee said, the Government must “demonstrate that all lane running schemes do not make the road any less safe than the traditional motorway with a hard shoulder”.
The situation is still being monitored.
For more information on smart motorways see www.rospa.com/road-safety/advice/drivers/better-driving/smart-motorways/
Nick Lloyd, road safety manager
Posted: 1/11/2017 2:44:46 PM