29 January 2020

Smart motorways scandal: Highways Agency facing police probe over deaths of stranded drivers

Highways England is facing a police investigation over the deaths of motorists on smart motorways after ministers claimed safety warnings had been repeatedly ignored.

The widow of a driver killed on a smart motorway made formal allegations of criminal corporate manslaughter against the roads agency on Monday, the Telegraph can disclose.

It comes as a damning report by a group of MPs finds on Tuesday that the “shocking and careless” introduction of the scheme has cost lives.

Meanwhile a series of transport ministers told the Telegraph they had repeatedly warned Highways England officials that smart motorways posed a danger to drivers. One former roads minister said he had been “completely misled”.

This whole concept of "Smart Motorways" is horrific. It's a way of squeezing more traffic onto the existing roads - with no care for the health & safety of road users. Should you be unlucky enough to break down - you are relying on other road users observing that the lane is closed off & that your vehicle is there. I can assure you - as a motorcyclist - that many road users have no idea what is going on! Thirty-eight people have been killed on smart motorways in the last five years. It's time to stop this "Smart Motorway" madness ASAP - before more people are needlessly killed or injured.

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