M27 smart motorway in Hampshire to receive new technology to detect broken down vehicles
TECHNOLOGY to spot broken-down vehicles on smart motorways will be fast-tracked in a bid to improve safety, the government has announced.
As Highways England publishes a report on the progress made on smart motorways in the UK – including the M27 between junctions 4 and 11 – it has been revealed that all existing projects will be fitted with radar SVD technology.
This means that stopped vehicles will be detected sooner, so that motorway adjustments can be made.
Smart motorways do not have a hard shoulder, instead set-back emergency areas, and red X signs on gantries to close live lanes to motorists.
This technology will be implemented by September 2022, six months earlier than initially planned.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Despite the data showing that fatalities are less likely on these motorways than on conventional ones, this doesn’t mean all drivers necessarily feel safe on them.
‘That is why I tasked Highways England last year with delivering an action plan to raise the bar on safety measures even higher. This progress report shows the extensive work already carried out, but we want to do more.
‘So-called smart motorways started to be built in 2001 and I am determined to ensure that technology and exacting standards are in place.’
Data shows an increase in fatalities along smart motorways in 2019 compared to previous years, but the government has put this down to the dynamic hard shoulders, which have since been withdrawn.
The government adds that work has also been completed to make emergency areas more visible along with improved signage, and radar technology is now being rolled out along smart motorways across the country.