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AA seeks ‘smart’ motorway guidance in Highway Code

Alphabet smart motorway

The AA is pressuring Government to update the Highway Code to include advice on All Lane Running motorways.

Following two recent deaths and a series of serious incidents, the motoring organisation says the changes are needed to reflect progress in vehicle and road design.

It wrote to Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman MP stating that the Highway Code should include guidance on what to do in the event of a breakdown when there is no hard shoulder.

As well as updating the Code in general, the AA has called for:

A rule that would ask drivers to create an ‘Emergency corridor’ to allow emergency services access to incidents where there is no continuous hard shoulder.

A new ‘slow down and move over’ rule when passing broken down vehicles on motorways. This would protect breakdown, recovery and emergency services operatives working on the hard shoulder.

Edmund King, AA president says: “Eight out of 10 drivers (79%) say that motorways are more dangerous now compared to four years ago simply because of the removal of the hard shoulder.

“More than a decade on since the introduction of smart motorways, we see these changes to the Highway Code as a necessary step to try help save lives and improve safety and driver confidence when people use motorways.”

At present the Highway Code only considers motorways as having three lanes of traffic with a continuous hard shoulder, but since 2006 three types of ‘smart’ motorway now exist alongside the traditional motorway layout.

There is more than 500 miles of ‘smart’ motorway already live, and with more schemes scheduled in the coming years.

From next year, new drivers will be allowed to take lessons on motorways. The AA believes this will help them understand the differing types of motorway they could interact with before they even drive on.

“Safety is of paramount importance on all of our roads, and therefore we look forward to the Minister taking these important points on board to enhance road safety,” he added.

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