Written evidence submitted by Mr Cliff Short (RSM0011)

My name is Cliff Short, I am retired, and passionate about road safety, I recently came up with an idea to save lives on our Zebra crossings, which is waiting for special permission from the Department of Transport for a pilot scheme.

I have never used a Smart Motorway, so have no experience on them, but I have read articles and watched programmes on Smart Motorways, one programme made me sob so much, it was, as if, I had lost a loved one myself. The person had broken down on the live inside lane of the Smart Motorway, and was phoning the authorities whilst in the car with his family, he was speaking to an operator, he yelled "Oh No" then "silence". I am not sure what happened afterwards as was too distressed to hear the commentary.

From what I understand, once Highways know someone has broken down there are measures in place, that can take several minutes to put in place, to let other traffic know of the danger. These measures don’t always work with traffic traveling at 70mph+ in all lanes, surely to give the broken down motorist and their family a chance of retreating to the embankment, speed needs to be reduced, this may already happen, but clearly not given the motorist enough time to get to safety.

The cost of implementing technology can run into millions of pounds, so any ideas need to feasible, and trialed.

Something that would be more proactive and less expensive would be to have a speed limit on the hard shoulder being used when the lane becomes live. this can be painted on by the contractors used for lining, and the gantries can either monitor the live lane or put speed cameras on that lane so drivers abide by rules set for that lane, for other lanes I suspect a "Red X is used on the gantries.

I problem solve every day on road safety matters, and hope that something is done about it asap, as one life lost is too much.

I thank you for allowing my input on this urgent matter.

 

 

March