As we all know by now, smart motorways are not having a good press.
The revelation that 38 people have been killed on smart motorways in the last five years has renewed concerns about their safety - particularly when the hard shoulder is in use as an extra driving lane. So what should you do if you break down on a smart motorway and need to pull over in an emergency?
The number of people with personal anecdotes highlighting the dangers created by smart motorways must run into millions.
For example a friend of mine recently told me of an incident where a member of his family broke down on a ‘smart’ section of the M1 with three children in the car.
Only yesterday we passed a car broken down on a ‘smart’ section of the M1. The driver had pulled in as close to the crash barrier as he could and put his hazard lights on. The best he could do, but the offside wheels of the car were still in the inside lane of a busy motorway.
Nobody could get out of the car on the passenger side because of the crash barrier. The best they could do would be to climb out of the windows. Otherwise any occupants would have to get out of the car and in doing so step into the inside lane of the motorway. It was raining too.
The anecdotes pile up as they were bound to and it isn’t easy to understand why this was not foreseen. Or maybe it was. Yet as things stand a constant trickle of negative, sometimes horrific stories are bound to hit the headlines.