T O P

Man on the M1 northbound yesterday 7.20pm out of your car

Man on the M1 northbound yesterday 7.20pm out of your car

Slightly_underated

Great stuff. I have to say It is very unearving being on a motorway without a hard shoulder now. They call them smart motorways but I just can't see how removing the hard shoulder would be a smart thing to do. Scary more like. But that's a whole nother story. Rant over. And well done for making the effort to help someone in a very dangerous situation.


SlipperySibley

Hence why no further 'smart' motorways will be built. The existing will be finished but that is all. The trouble is, nobody is ever told how to use them correctly and there are far too many selfish, inconsiderate drivers out there for them to work properly in the first place. My rant over lol.


UnacceptableUse

My understand is that you use them by obeying the signs, no? Your second point is definitely correct though.


artex-and-woodchip

I thought that until I started using them more. I've had to call 999 countless times because cars are broken down in live lanes and the signs haven't changed over. Often these vehicles have clearly been there some time. I understand there were supposed to be more radar detectors and closer together refuge areas but it didn't materialise.


gentleomission

>and closer together refuge areas but it didn't materialise. I believe they're being retrofitted, but probably delayed a bunch anyway


MattGeddon

There’s been some legislation recently where they’ve had to improve the tech and provide more regular refuge areas. The ones that really make me nervous are the ones with a huge wall on the nearside lane so even if you do break down you can’t even get out of your car and jump over the barrier, you’ve just got to stay put and pray that some twat won’t come flying into the back of you.


Spenjamin

I work with HGVs and one of our drivers had to call 999 today. Someone broke down in a live lane, had their head under the bonnet and were completely oblivious to the cars speeding up to and around them at 60+ mph. Our driver barely managed to swerve around him. They're horrible inventions


postvolta

And you're also not supposed to be in any other lane than the left lane unless you're overtaking (or the motorway splits and you want to stay on), and yet still I'm met with some oblivious muppet chewing the steering wheel sat in the middle lane doing 55


darrenmt10

Saw this today on the M62 Eastbound. Completely oblivious woman in a van (with another van up her arse) in the right lane with 3 empty lanes to her left at 65MPH. Unfortunately it’s so common, as well as completely infuriating.


Spenjamin

Had someone flash their lights at me the other morning in the M1 Southbound. They were going 40mph in the 3rd lane and flashed me because I "undertook them". Like, no. I was just continuing in my lane at the speed limit.


FryOneFatManic

If you're being undertaken it's a sign you're in the wrong lane. Pre covid, I regularly commuted to work via the M1, and you really had to keep your wits about you because this stretch was so busy, and so full of numpties.


postvolta

And, to boot, illegal


Trebus

It's constant on the M60 an' all. Every morning you get the cunts who won't move over for slip road ingress, shortly followed by all 3 lanes full of drivers who apparently must drive in synchronised parallel. Ugh.


FakeSchwarzenbach

The problem with anything "smart" is its only as clever as its most stupid user. And as anyone who has spent any amount of time driving will tell you, people ain't that smart. I'm terrified of breaking down on a smart motorway, but then again, if I was somewhere with no refuge area, I'd get out of the car and climb over the barrier just in case, I figure I can't stop someone ploughing in to the car, but I can make sure I'm not in it.


Phyte

How is this stupidity on the user, rather than the designer?


shitfest1002

You're right, good design makes it easier to behave efficiently, not harder. Shouldn't be expecting people to learn new motorway rules when regular motorways aren't even part of the driving test


FakeSchwarzenbach

In the instances of (when the signs have been updated correctly) people continuing to drive in a lane where there’s big red crosses on several gantry signs and most other people aren’t in that lane/are actively moving to the other lanes? I’d say that’s pretty heavily on the driver for not paying attention/not having any common sense.


Phyte

Ah, I was talking about the OP where the situation was unattended / no signs altered. By design, this will always be the case for some length of time anyway


Astin257

The second point explains why they’re not used properly despite it being as simple as do what the sign says


ben_jamin_h

Not _no new smart motorways_ so much as no new smart motorways until the tech is defined / incorporated, [apparently](https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56815522)


throwaway12575

Every single innovation with 'smart' in the name either makes us dumb or doesn't work because of that. At this point I think they're just trying to make us feel better.


TAB20201

I’d agree if I wasn’t here posting this on a smart phone ...


BenisDDD69

Didn't they publish studies that smart motorways are inherently safer? Why would they suddenly stop making these inherently safer roads, I wonder.


military_history

The government has been repeatedly citing a study which compares traditional motorways with no modern safety features with smart motorways with all the modern safety features (e.g. cameras that auto-detect stopped vehicles). However it does not compare smart motorways (which lack a hard shoulder) against motorways with a hard shoulder where both have equivalent safety features. Thus it does not isolate the effect of the most contentious feature of smart motorways, the absence of a hard shoulder. The safety benefit of modern safety features versus a traditional motorway outweighs the risk caused by removing hard shoulders, allowing the government to state that the roads are safer even though they've overseen the removal of a vital safety feature. The worst thing is the whole problem could be fixed instantly by just setting all the lane management systems to keep the left-most lane closed to traffic, effectively reinstituting the hard shoulder, but this has not been done and people continue to be killed when they break down and have no safe refuge. There's been lots of good analysis of it in the transport column in Private Eye.


npfiii

There's a reason Highways England might be geting sued for corporate manslaughter, and it's not because smart motorways are safe...


BenisDDD69

Indeed. They turned the M23 near me into a smart motorway and I've already had to avoid some poor broken down sod because the road signs hadn't updated to notify of a broken down vehicle. They're rubbish roads and not fit for purpose.


Trebus

They've just started one on the M6 between near Manc/Preston. They fucking love them.


AstraJin

Now all I see on the motorway is cars bounced into the grass verge,very rarely are they broke down in the yellow pull off zone


KingCPresley

In theory a smart motorway should be safer than standard motorways, but like many things in life, end up less so in practice. There was a Panorama, or Dispatches, or one of those kinda shows on smart motorways a year or two ago and it made me vow to drive 100 miles out my way rather than drive on them. It was honestly quite scary to watch.


tobyornottoby2366

I've just looked it up, it's called *Britain's Killer Motorways* and it is Panorama. Haven't found a good way to watch it yet so no link if anybody was interested.


converter-bot

100 miles is 160.93 km


Expo737

Good bot


B0tRank

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Soiledmattress

Asked nobody.


s_l_a_c_k

I remember my mate telling me he'd read studies on them, and that they're more dangerous but faster. Another case of the government putting the economy before people


SirFabulouis

Not to mention the smart motorway "upgrade" between junction 12 and 13 of the M1 which I'm sure for 2 years has never been worked on and remains coned off


Turbulent-Use7253

You did a very noble thing and quite possibly saved the lives of those in the broken down car. Well done sir.


smilerlollie

Thank you (and I paid an awful lot of money to go back to being a Miss after being a Mrs - not having a go just being light hearted about it)


whiskeysmoker13

On that note...I always say I've been both, so I'm now a Ms...and I agree, way too much money spent and lost to get to this point... On the other point...Well done you! Not many (as you pointed out) would have done that. Which brings me to another point (tongue in cheek-ily) my Mum always said, a woman is stronger and fairer than any man! Ha :D


smilerlollie

Too right we are :) your mum is spot on (I’ve got a feeling that shows my age far more than anything else)


whiskeysmoker13

Haha she had a few more but didn't want to be accused of sexism...or any other ism! That was the gentlest on our male counterparts lol As for your age...think us girls are worry too much about showing our age tbh...I reckon we should embrace it. Having said that, that's because I'm an auld fart and shout it from the rooftops now, *and* because my kids are all hitting thier 30's so can't lie anymore lol :D


Lizardmanjj

Smart motorways are the dumbest idea this country has had, how many thousands of people are gonna get killed before the powers in charge realise how stupid they are


TheRealGlombola

I genuinely don’t understand how smart motorways could be considered smart or even a remotely good idea.


theworldisnotquiet

Well it was an easy way to have extra motorway capacity and ease gridlock without paying for land rights and to tarmac roads from scratch. Unfortunately they are also really dangerous since there's nowhere safe to breakdown any more and people don't always pay attention to the signs telling them to slow down/avoid a certain lane (and to be fair lots of times those signs are out of date and there is no longer an obstruction or a reason to be doing 40/50).


MattGeddon

They’re a good idea in that they use up the limited space and limited budget more efficiently. They’re not so good when it comes to the safety aspect, although the more recent ones have had to have more frequent refuge areas.


sortyourgrammarout

All of the evidence shows that they are safer.


totalbamber

No it doesn't.


sortyourgrammarout

Because all the evidence shows that they are safer.


totalbamber

No it doesn't.


sortyourgrammarout

All the evidence shows that they are far safer.


totalbamber

No, it doesn't.


PantherEverSoPink

Well done, I would have been terrified to stop and not had a clue what to do But you're right we need to keep an eye out for situations like this because this trend for no hard shoulder seems to be taking off.


smilerlollie

We all do what we think is right for us. Do not beat yourself up about it. Maybe the other 100+ drivers also had reasons not to stop but the scary thing was this guy just doing his best to save the lives of his children and I was at a stop. My organised brain kicked in and the phone call to the police was over before I had even advised him to get back in his car to stay safer. It was only afterwards and over night that the emotions hit me and I was shaking and trembling thinking how I put the lives of not only myself but my young grandson and his other nanny at risk. I’ve justified it to myself by saying if it was one of my kids in that car I would want someone to help them.


sortyourgrammarout

Not having a hard shoulder was completely irrelevant here.


Skorpychan

So much for 'smart' motorways.


InsertBeforeFlights

Anything's smart if you call it smart!


Trumps_Brain_Cell

Look at Mr Smartiepants here!


furryalienballs

I’m not suggesting for a second that I disagree with you, but....honest question....how would having a hard shoulder have helped a vehicle stopped in lane 3? I’m genuinely interested, and not (trying to!) be a dick!


Skorpychan

It's more that they didn't close the lane like they're meant to. If they were doing their jobs AT ALL, they'd have stopped that lane and the one next to it and sent the highways agency and some traffic police out to clear the blockage.


furryalienballs

That’s a fair point. I suppose it depends on whether the technology to detect stopped vehicles is up and running I suppose. Making it the fault of someone who could be watching hundreds of screens trying to see when a vehicle stops in a live lane is grossly unfair too (I don’t think that was what you were suggesting?) Seeing a stoped vehicle in a live lane on a motorway with a hard shoulder is probably LESS likely though, as a vanishingly small number of them are equipped with that technology. Interesting discussion though. Thanks.


MattGeddon

I believe they’re all now supposed to be fitted with cameras that cover the whole area and can alert operators to any stopped or slow moving vehicles.


military_history

There are too few staff to watch all the cameras and the automatic detection systems are patchy, so, IIRC, it takes about 15 minutes on average to spot a stopped car. Most deaths in these situations take less time than that. It's an absolute scandal that we are paying for billions of pounds worth of new roads but the existing ones which carry the vast majority of traffic are being managed like this.


MittensGBN

The difficulty is not all smart motorways are actively managed, so no one has any idea until police/highways/Council are called and informed, bit pants but seems to be the thing


Skorpychan

They're not very smart, then!


RealPleh

Some would say they're a total waste of resources


MattGeddon

Well not really. They’ve allowed more capacity for less money and less land, they’re just less safe than normal motorways.


RealPleh

They built them then rarely actually use their functionality, not sure how that isn't a waste


[deleted]

[удалено]


An5Ran

Smart thinking


spitfire1701

My sister and her partner broke down on a motorway once when the whole electric system burnt out (some great workmanship from the previous owner put some cables touching a part of the bike which was very hot) and had no lights in the middle of the night. If that motorway didn't have a hard shoulder I doubt either of them would be alive right now.


furryalienballs

Fair play. Well done for being the person to take action.


smilerlollie

Thank you :)


Towsey-

Well done! We could all be a bit more like you


smilerlollie

Thank you :)


th3_north3rn_monk3y

Classic bystander effect, albeit at 70mph. Wonder how many “look at this idiot waving his arms in the 3rd lane” videos there are. Nice one for helping, take some courage to be the 1st!


theworldisnotquiet

This is a great post. Smart motorways are freaking dangerous.


sortyourgrammarout

This is nothing to do with smart motorways.


[deleted]

[удалено]


sortyourgrammarout

How would a hard shoulder have helped in this situation?


[deleted]

[удалено]


JN324

This stupid new experiment not having hard shoulders is going to continue getting people maimed and killed. Good work helping the guy out. “A Freedom of Information (FoI) request sent by Panorama to Highways England revealed that on one section of the M25, outside London, the number of near misses had risen 20-fold since the hard shoulder was removed in April 2014. In the five years before the road was converted into a smart motorway there were just 72 near misses. In the five years after, there were 1,485.” [Link](https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51236375)


Badger118

My dad broke down in the third lane of the M1 a couple of years ago. I cannot imagine how frightening that must have been. The RAC would not even attend until he had been escorted by the free recovery people. It convinced me to buy a brand new car as he was driving a 2008 car and mine was 2002.


sp4mm41l

Smart motorways were signed off on having the safe havens closer together than they presently are, there were several articles about written many months ago after those that signed it off complained. They are even going by the original design inherently more unsafe to any vehicle that breaks down in anything but lane one and even then the chances of being back ended are high.


sortyourgrammarout

This is nothing to do with smart motorways.


Spenjamin

Do you work for the smart motorway committee or something?


sp4mm41l

The conversation was going that way as many other have ,so I commented on how absurd and unsafe they are.


sortyourgrammarout

Except all the evidence points towards them being safer.


totalbamber

No, it doesn't.


sp4mm41l

What evidence, all I see is stranded motorists in full flowing traffic?


sortyourgrammarout

[Are they more dangerous than normal motorways? Statistically, overall, the evidence suggests not: in figures analysed by the Department for Transport between 2015 and 2018, the death toll on smart motorways by traffic volume has been slightly lower than on conventional motorways, possibly because speeds are often limited.](https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/19/what-are-smart-motorways-and-are-they-safe)


sp4mm41l

The Sunday Times reported that there were 14 fatalities during the last year for which data is available on motorways where hard shoulders have been permanently removed or operate temporarily as live lanes. It said that data had been collected by the Department for Transport but not published in its annual report on road casualties. "The Sunday Times reported that there were 14 fatalities during the last year for which data is available on motorways where hard shoulders have been permanently removed or operate temporarily as live lanes. It said that data had been collected by the Department for Transport but not published in its annual report on road casualties. There were 11 deaths on smart motorways in 2018 and five in 2017, the paper said. Significantly, it pointed out that the number of fatalities is rising faster than the network is expanding.http://www.transport-network.co.uk/Smart-motorway-deaths-rise-to-record-levels/17147


BoiledEggOnToast

I have the highways number saved in my phone because of this. 3 times I’ve seen stranded cars not on the hard shoulder. 1 of them with no lights on at all in the dark. It was petrifying for me as a driver so I can’t imagine what it must be like to be sat in the car still.


Beedit

999 job in that case, I think.


dylanatstrumble

My understanding on these "smart" motorways is that in the original test of concept, engineers designed certain parameters and safeguards that had to be followed and the test section worked as planned. Of course the inevitable happened and dumb "smart" versions were added at random without the correct parameters or safeguards in place. See [summary](https://www.matfoundrygroup.com/News%20and%20Blog/Smart_Motorways_Where_Did_It_Go_So_Wrong)


AfterBill8630

Faith in humanity restored, you sir are a magnificent human being.


smilerlollie

Thank you :) see post above for explanation on why I’m a Miss :)


AfterBill8630

My apologies


bettyboo5

Smart motorways are so dangerous. He must have been so glad of your help. So scary, especially for him with his children in there.


usernamechosenornot

Smart motorway is a great idea. No hard shoulder is terrible. Why did they bound them together?


Gornalannie

“Smart motorways” are the worst thing ever. I’d love to meet the person who came up with this idea and ask them if they’ve ever had to sit there , scared that you and your kids are going to be smashed to smithereens, because there’s no hard shoulder and no way of climbing the wall to get off the motorway. I now circumvent those stretches if I can, by coming off but it’s a pain in the a**e travelling north on the M6, where they seem to be obsessed with them.


h6khan

When they were installing "SMART MOTORWAYS" i was thinking self charging lanes for EVs


deaffaf

All I can think is not only how sad it would have been if he'd been hit, but the fact that his kids would have seen it all. You possibly not only saved one life, but several (not to mention the probable trauma of the driver who hit him). You may not be here for kudos, but have some anyway.


milleryura

I think you’ve imposed a thought into my mind that had never struck me before. It’s a fairly common occurrence to see people parked up on the shoulder, but never once have I actually stopped to offer a hand. I suppose I just presumed they were there for a reason, possibly not in a need of help. I’ll now make a mental note to just pull over and ask if there’s anything I can do, because I’m sure something so simple could mean a lot to someone. Thank you for helping me realise this.


[deleted]

Absolutely do NOT do this. ​ Highway Code Rule 270 You MUST NOT stop on the carriageway, hard shoulder, slip road, central reservation or verge except in an emergency, or when told to do so by the police, traffic officers in uniform, an emergency sign or by flashing red light signals. Do not stop on the hard shoulder to either make or receive mobile phone calls. ​ Seeing if someone needs help does not qualify as an emergency. If you want to help, call emergency services


Carrie-Ann-

Except in an emergency or breakdown! Also if you see flashing hazards ahead you should flash your hazards and slow down if possible. The only error they made was telling them to get back in their car whilst broken down on the central reservation.


smilerlollie

You are very welcome. There is another part to this story that made me want to stop and help. This will give away who I am to anyone who knows this story. Back in 1996 my younger brother was involved in a fatal accident not very many miles away from where the young man was standing. I had just been discussing the place where he had passed away as we passed it. His incident was very much in my mind - it also involved him being out of his car due to an accident. If it had been anywhere else on the motorway at any other time I would never have thought to stop/help and subsequently ring the police to get him help (and then call the police back today to make sure he had help after I drove past him). I truly believe that I stopped to help for a reason. If you do ever stop to help anyone at any time, ensure it’s safe to do so, that you are safe and have a half plan to get away - just in case.


Sapphorific

I’m so sorry for your loss <3 and I too truly believe you stopped for a reason, no doubt about that. That family will always remember you and honestly, you likely helped to save their lives last night. What an amazingly kind thing to do for a stranger


sortyourgrammarout

For fucks sake. Don't do that.


milleryura

I’m literally doing it now, why didn’t you warn me sooner


milleryura

Pal, you shouldn’t do this. John 3:15 literally states “Thou shall not drive on hard shoulder, unlesseth an emergency”


sortyourgrammarout

This is literally just a bragging post.


Marky122

If those highways vans parked up in lay-bys every 10 miles actually patrolled their patch I feel like they'd deal with this more often. Maybe I'm wrong but it looks like the easiest job in the world. I drive the A19 daily and see atleast 5 groups of them doing nothing.


converter-bot

10 miles is 16.09 km


Solo-me

Ok that s great but.... Did you say he left the kids in the car????