Following today's Commons' Transport Committee session looking at all lane running smart motorways, RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said:
“We have consistently raised the issue about the lengthy spacing between emergency rescue areas (ERAs) on all lane running smart motorways, so it is extremely good news for motorists’ safety that distances between them will be reviewed.
"A study of RAC breakdowns on the all lane running sections of the M25 found that only 42% of motorists who broke down were aware that ERAs existed, while only 28% could see an ERA from where they broke down. Clearly this indicates that better signage of ERAs should be a priority on existing and future stretches of smart motorways.
“We also welcome the announcement that there will be a public information programme to educate drivers on how to use smart motorways, which is clearly needed. With no hard shoulder, the safety of a motorist who has broken depends on other drivers complying with red ‘X’s that indicate a lane is closed. While 92% red ‘X’ compliance appears high, there has to be a real concern about the remaining 8% that ignore the overhead signage thus increasing the potential for a serious accident.
“Every step should be taken to ensure that motorways do not lose their status as the UK’s safest roads.”