THERE has been a lot of discussion recently regarding the safety or otherwise of ‘smart motorways’.

While I am not taking sides in this discussion I would like to make what I think is a valid point.

When motorways were introduced just over 60 years ago we were all told about the safety of them because, oncoming traffic was segregated (although not immediately) and, in the event of a breakdown, there was somewhere to stop.

The hard shoulder was also available for emergency vehicles to get to the scene of an accident.

We have all become used to the fact that, when on a motorway you were unlikely to find a broken down vehicle blocking your path.

This has become part of motorists’ mindset over the years.

A smart motorway is no different to a dual carriageway, it has more lanes, granted, but neither has a hard shoulder.

In fact, a smart motorway should be safer because learners, farm tractors, cyclists and mopeds etc are not allowed on a motorway, and yet many people are calling for them to be banned.

Why not ban dual carriageways also?

The main problem in my opinion is that all drivers are used to the fact that, when on a motorway if your vehicle has a problem you have somewhere to go and when on a smart motorway we sub consciously think the same way, sometimes with disastrous results.

We should, in my opinion, when on a smart motorway, think as if you are driving on a dual carriageway, and definitely expect the unexpected.