The government has taken further steps to improve the safety of smart highways without difficult shoulders, including banning the opening of such highways if they do not have measures to detect stopped cars.
In a statement released today, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said no other All-Lane Highway (ALR) would be allowed to open without radar technology to spot stopped vehicles.
He added that the technology will be rolled out to all operational ALR roads by September 2022. At the same time, Highways England is upgrading smart cameras on the country’s motorways to enable them to detect cars traveling on closed lanes, called “red X”. violations, which can be applied by the police.
These final steps build on measures set out in a Smart Highways Inventory Report in March 2020, which included an 18-point action plan, including camera improvements and a £ 5million ad campaign. sterling to alert drivers to the smart highway tag.
Shapps said, “This government takes the safety of our roads very seriously. We are determined to do all we can to help drivers feel safer and be safer on our roads – all of our roads. “
Smart highways were introduced in England in 2002, with the controversial ALR versions, in which the hard shoulder is used as an additional lane, arriving in 2014. They have been linked to more than 38 fatalities.
In February, a coroner referred Highways England to the Crown Prosecution Service to look into a manslaughter charge after the death of a woman in South Yorkshire when motorway monitors failed to detect her vehicle was broken down.
Responding to the government’s latest announcement, RAC’s Head of Roads Policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Although it appears that good progress is being made in implementing some of the changes promised by the government l last year, we fear that drivers will still have to wait until 18 years. months before all cameras applied the “Red X” lane closure signs.
“Law enforcement is vital to getting all drivers to obey these signs, because anyone who does not obey them is at a much greater risk of being in a collision with a disabled vehicle.”
His comments were echoed by Edmund King, president of the AA. King said that while progress on smart highways is “encouraging,” there is still work to be done.
“The number one improvement advocated by AA and our members is to increase the number of emergency refuge areas and adapt them to older systems to ensure they are placed at around 0.75 thousand. each other,“ said the king. “More ERA, as well as improving the accuracy of stationary vehicle detection radar, should be urgent priorities. “
In a progress report from the first year of inventory, Highways England said fatality rates on ALR motorways are lower than on any other type of road in the UK. He said ALR highways have a fatality rate of 0.12 per hundred million vehicle-miles, compared to 0.16 for conventional highways and 0.44 for A-roads of the strategic highway network.
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This notice was published: 2021-04-20 16:25:16