Carnage on smart motorway: Crash shows hazards of 'death-trap' roads
Carnage on smart motorway: Crash shows hazards of the ‘death-trap’ roads after truck smashed into broken-down caravan and van on M1
- Truck travelling at speed on the M1 smashes into a broken-down caravan and van
- The truck driver clearly did not notice the broken down vehicles until crashing
- The crash happened last Monday between junctions 28 and 29 of the M1
This shocking crash provides yet more evidence of the dangers posed by ‘smart motorways’.
A truck travelling at speed along the inside lane of the M1 smashes into a broken-down caravan and van.
With no hard shoulder, the van and caravan had been forced to stop on the motorway itself.
Dashcam footage from another vehicle on Facebook appears to show no signs to warn other motorists of the hazard ahead.
A truck travelling at speed along the inside lane of the M1 smashes into a broken-down caravan and van
And the truck driver clearly did not notice the broken down vehicles until crashing into the stationary caravan.
The crash happened last Monday between junctions 28 and 29 of the M1 in Nottinghamshire. No one is believed to have been seriously hurt.
Paul Bancroft, who posted the footage, commented: ‘Smart motorway, light traffic, good visibility, broken down van and caravan and no hard shoulder – what could go wrong?’
In January, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps halted the rollout of 120 miles of smart motorway until April 2024 while more safety data is collected on sections of these roads already in operation.
It marked a victory for the Daily Mail, which has campaigned for better safety on smart motorways.
In January, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps halted the rollout of 120 miles of smart motorway until April 2024
We first revealed a raft of lethal problems with the ‘death-trap’ roads in an investigation last year. An undercover reporter working at a National Highways control centre witnessed the radar-based stopped-vehicle detection system fail to go off when there was a stranded car on a smart section of the M25 for 30 minutes. The alert was also triggered constantly with false alarms.
The reporter found that more than 10 per cent of cameras meant to spot stranded vehicles on smart sections of the M25, M1 and M4 were broken, misted up or facing the wrong way.
Internal reports revealed that staff flagged system failures to highways bosses several times, complaining it often missed vehicle breakdowns – with potentially disastrous results.
A recent report published earlier this month showed smart motorways were three times more lethal to break down on than those with a safety lane.
Despite Mr Shapps’ decision to delay the rollout of 120 miles of smart sections of motorway, a further 100 miles will go ahead because they are more than 50 per cent complete.
Claire Mercer, whose husband Jason was killed in an accident on a stretch of the M1 with no hard shoulder in 2019, said: ‘You can come up with all the statistics you like.
‘But all it should come down to is common sense, because what’s more dangerous, breaking down in a live lane or breaking down on a road with a hard shoulder to pull into?’
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