Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 23 April 2024

Revealed: England’s smart motorways lost power nearly 400 times in two years – with crucial safety equipment including CCTV, signals and signs out of action for days at a time, leaving drivers’ lives ‘at risk’

The technology behind England’s smart motorways network stopped working on a regular basis leaving drivers ‘at risk’, it has emerged.

There were 397 incidents when the motorway network lost power, which makes it difficult to detect when a car breaks down and can trap drivers in a live lane, from June 2022 to February 2024.

In some of the incidents, crucial safety equipment including CCTV, signals and signs were out out of action for days at a time.

A traffic officer who works on the network told the BBC that they no longer consider the network safe.

However, National Highways – which operates the motorways – has denied the claims.

There are 400 miles of smart motorways in England and around half of this has no hard shoulder, which campaigners say make them more dangerous for breakdowns.

Radar and cameras are supposed to spot broken down vehicles and move the traffic out of their lane. A report from last year found motorways without hard shoulders are three times more dangerous.

According to figures released to the BBC’s Panorama, there were five days on June 2023 when there were no signs, signals, camera or radar at junction 18 on the M6.

In September 2023, there were no signs, signals sensors or CCTV for five days at Junction 22 of the M62.

And for three and a half days in December 2023, there were no signs, signals, sensors or CCTV at junction 6 on the M5.

A traffic officer working on the network said they no longer believes the motorways are safe.

He said: ‘Sometimes it’s faulty. Sometimes they’re repairing something and they’ll turn it off. I don’t always know it’s off.’

President of the AA, Edmund King, said the outages mean people’s lives are at risk.

Her said: ‘If you haven’t got that technology, it’s not even a basic motorway because you haven’t got the hard shoulder. It means that you’re playing Russian roulette with people’s lives.’

National Highways said the radar detects 89 per cent of breakdowns – which means one in 10 are not spotted – and that smart motorways are the safest roads in Britain.

At least 79 people have been killed on smart motorways since they were introduced in 2010 and seven coroners have called for them to be made safer.

In March 2019, Derek Jacobs, 83, died when his van was hit by a car on the M1 near Sheffield after he had stopped in the live inside lane and got out of the vehicle following a tyre-blow out.

The front seat passenger in the Ford Ka that hit the van, Charles Scripps, 78, died in hospital two months after the collision.

The red car, being driven by Mr Scripps’s wife Jean, was shown on dashcam footage flipping over in the carriageway and ending up on its side before it was hit by a coach.

Concluding that both men died as a result of a road traffic collision, assistant coroner Susan Evans told Chesterfield Coroner’s Court: ‘Smart motorways are hugely controversial because of the lack of any hard shoulder for motorists to use in times of need such as occurred here.

‘It is immediately apparent that, had there been a hard shoulder, this incident would not have occurred because Mr Jacobs would have been able to pull off the live lane entirely.’

Read More: Revealed: England’s smart motorways lost power nearly 400 times

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