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"Go Left" on smart motorways.

(36 Posts)
Deedaa Sat 20-Mar-21 22:59:45

I've just been watching an advert telling me that if I break down on a motorway I should go left and pull into a so called safe stopping area. I should then go left and leave the car by the passenger door'
I am 75 and have had both knees replaced. By the time I have
climbed across to the passenger door (and I'm not sure it's even possible in my car) I will probably have had several HGVs run into the back of me. And then of course I still have to climb over the barrier.
Do the people who think this stuff up ever try it out?

suziewoozie Sat 20-Mar-21 23:15:42

Apparently an enquiry was launched at the end of last month by the Transport Committee. Hummm. Frankly I hate being on them but am not hopeful of any change soon, if ever.

Ro60 Sun 21-Mar-21 02:54:35

? what car were they testing this scenario out on I wonder?
Cars (or people) don't seem to made this way these days.

vegansrock Sun 21-Mar-21 03:10:12

These motorways are death traps. Several people have been killed on them. What if your car breaks down and you can’t get to one of these so called safe areas??

welbeck Sun 21-Mar-21 05:06:31

i would go so far left as to leave the motorway as soon as i discover it has a totally stupid section without a hard shoulder.

welbeck Sun 21-Mar-21 05:07:43

better to be one hour late in this life,
than 10 years early in the next.

Kate1949 Sun 21-Mar-21 10:07:35

Our granddaughter had a terrifying experience on one of these motorways. I agree they are deathtraps.

Deedaa Sun 21-Mar-21 10:14:43

DD is a far more intrepid driver than me and she has started avoiding them.

Here's another thought - you've got small children in the back of the car. How do you organise getting them out while performing contortions in the front seats?

Shropshirelass Sun 21-Mar-21 10:15:11

I hate smart motorways, if you breakdown you can’t always get to a safe area and they are few and far between. As for clambering over to the passenger side, there are many people who would not be able to do this. This is the most stupid dangerous idea ever. I have only been on one once and hated it, I felt very unsafe. I will avoid smart motorways at all costs. I really cannot understand the thinking behind these, they certainly do nothing to make motorway driving safer.

rosie1959 Sun 21-Mar-21 10:25:49

I do not like smart motorways always glad to get off them.
It is always sensible to get out of the passenger door if broken down on any motorway and although our cars have large consuls in the middle I can easily crawl over my DH cannot at 6ft 4 it’s not an easy option.

Gwenisgreat1 Sun 21-Mar-21 10:30:28

I have never been on one, and have no desire to do so!

eazybee Sun 21-Mar-21 10:30:45

I watched this advert in disbelief.
Five people have been killed as a result of smart motorways, and they think to address it with a puerile advert.

GrannySomerset Sun 21-Mar-21 10:31:36

So now you should only use smart motorways if your gymnastic skills are up to moving from the driving seat to the passenger door? That eliminates many of the older drivers - perhaps that’s the idea?

Teacheranne Sun 21-Mar-21 11:23:47

I regularly used the smart section of the M42 when it first opened years ago. The stopping areas were much closer together than on newer smart motorways and the hard shoulder lane was only opened when traffic was heavy. Also cars were only directed into this lane if they were leaving the motorway at the next exit, traffic going beyond that had to remain in the other regular lanes.

It felt safe to me and worked well especially during the rush hour. I now live in the NW and am terrified of driving in the new smart lanes on the M6, I just do not feel safe when basically it is now a four lane motorway without a hard shoulder all the time!

JackyB Sun 21-Mar-21 11:27:42

What's a smart motorway? How will I know one (if ever we are allowed to travel again and I will be back in the UK and hiring cars)?

henetha Sun 21-Mar-21 11:32:20

Luckily, living in Devon, I can for ever avoid these death-trap, so called 'smart' motorways. I hope they don't build one here.

Buffybee Sun 21-Mar-21 11:50:26

Living on the outskirts of Manchester, “Smart” ? Motorways are unavoidable,
M60, sections of M62 and M6.
Luckily I have a new car but I still find that I’m tense on these sections and I do remind myself that if anything should happen, I should move to the left, Hazzards on, move the driving seat as far back as possible and crawl over the the seats, then over the barrier, as far away as possible. Call 999.
I’m far from fit but I do know I can do this, as while visiting family a car parked about six inches from my drivers door. I had no option than to clamber over the seats, with much huffing and puffing and looking totally inelegant. shock
I do think that they should all be changed back to having the hard shoulder.
Who thought of these stupid things? angry

hulahoop Sun 21-Mar-21 11:57:25

Hate these dangerous motorways we have to use m62 to get to a lot of places advert is stupid .

simtib Sun 21-Mar-21 12:13:40

They would be perfectly safe if all drivers stopped using the left hand lane.

Liz46 Sun 21-Mar-21 12:21:17

My husband lost all electrics in his car when he was on the motorway so he couldn't even put his hazard lights on. Luckily he was using the inside lane and it wasn't a smart motorway.
Whoever came up with the idea for smart motorways has no common sense.

AGAA4 Sun 21-Mar-21 12:54:20

Smart they are not. They are dangerous.

JaneJudge Sun 21-Mar-21 13:00:55

I really hope there is a rethink on them. As well as your scenario Deedaa there are thousands of others, having kids to get out, a dog, someone who is disabled etc etc

Amberone Sun 21-Mar-21 14:19:06

Isn't the advert just telling everyone what they should try to do??

I agree that the lack of verges is scary, especially considering the speeds people drive at even in the left hand lane, but apart from the verges changing all the rest is exactly the same as it always was. It has always been dangerous to break down on the motorway. It has always been necessary to pull over beyond the left hand lane. People have always been instructed to try to leave by the far side door, not near oncoming traffic and get behind the barrier if possible. I suspect that piece of advice is aimed at the people you see hanging round their car with the kids and dogs, instead of retreating away from the traffic.

So apart from the lack of verges all the problems above were problems even before smart motorways.

Deedaa Sun 21-Mar-21 14:30:38

But we now have the problem that with no hard shoulder there will be problems for emergency vehicles trying to reach you. In theory of course the inside lane should be closed, but that doesn't always seem to happen and there are always the people who take no notice of the signs.

Witzend Mon 22-Mar-21 13:46:58

A letter in the Times recently said that minister who are insisting that smart motorways are safe, should be made to act a pretend breakdown themselves, with all their family in the car.
Bloody good idea.
I would add, at a peak-traffic time, too, and preferably in the dark.