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Pocket GPS World :: View topic - Are Smart Motorways Confusing for Drivers?
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Are Smart Motorways Confusing for Drivers?
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DennisN
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kremmen wrote:
If you are being undertaken then I have to assume that you have an empty lane on your nearside ?


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ChrisiB
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Itís easy to blame something like a smart motorway for the faults of drivers on our roads! But the examples here against SM seem to be less about the practicality of the SM and more about the abilities of a driver to 1. Maintain concentration and 2. Be observational.

I donít travel along many SM day to day, however when I have been on these, around Birmingham and London, I have found the signage very clear. Itís obvious when the hard shoulder is open, or turning into a turn off lane, and the few times Iíve noticed a collision or breakdown, the lanes have been marked with an X. Obviously I would fully expect there to be times when this doesnít happen, however, this also happens on the stretch of M6 north I travel almost every day so itís exactly the same problem except we have no pre warning, so back to my point about observation.

I think after watching the video from the Japanese researchers into traffic flow many years ago, itís apparent to me that the main factors in traffic jams are Sheer Weight of Traffic combined with excessive speed and breaking and lack of forward planning!

The biggest mistake of the smart motorway is not trying to utilise average speed management across the sections.. although I guess this is controversial.
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DennisN
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisiB wrote:
The biggest mistake of the smart motorway is not trying to utilise average speed management across the sections.. although I guess this is controversial.

I thought that was what smart motorway management does - reduce speeds to let traffic flow instead of stop start at congestion - "You may be able to do 70 right now, but if you continue to do so you will come up against a logjam, so drive at 50 and you'll proceed without suffering (and thereby increasing the size of) traffic jam delays.
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ChrisiB
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DennisN wrote:
ChrisiB wrote:
The biggest mistake of the smart motorway is not trying to utilise average speed management across the sections.. although I guess this is controversial.

I thought that was what smart motorway management does - reduce speeds to let traffic flow instead of stop start at congestion - "You may be able to do 70 right now, but if you continue to do so you will come up against a logjam, so drive at 50 and you'll proceed without suffering (and thereby increasing the size of) traffic jam delays.


I was hinting more towards enforcement - what I have seen in my limited experience are the people who are not playing the game. They slow down for the cameras and then speed up again.

People see this empty stretch of road and think its a waste of time driving at the prescribed limit, so they still end up excessively speeding between the cameras and then still end up in a jam later and wonder why.

This inevitably will lead into a wider conversation about road user behaviour and the respect for other road users as this seems to be dwindling.
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xant14
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:47 am    Post subject: Smart! Reply with quote

Ridiculous idea of using the hard shoulder. So confusing, do I? don't I!
Extra lanes do not help matters as 95% of the traffic simply moves further right into the last two lanes. Germany gets the job done with two lanes in a lot of cases. Educating the drivers to pull in after overtaking and still doing double our legal speed.
Until drivers are educated... and fined! for staying in the overtaking lanes, then I don't think we can fix our roads.
Rant over.
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willmow
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Smart" motorways are not the answer to congestion: you could have 10, 20 lane motorways and still people would bunch up in the outer two lanes, with the law on undertaking preventing anyone from getting past the lane hogs. On the M3 for instance, middle lane hogs driving east into London continue on the same lane on the "smart" section, which means they then hold up three lanes of motorway (theirs, the inner lane and the new "smart" lane). I agree with another poster: two-lane motorways lead to better driver behaviour, in that the outer lane is used for overtaking only.
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buffer
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How on earth can you call these motorways smart? Having lived before motorways one of the major benefits and safety features of motorways over dual carriageways was the hard shoulder, somewhere where you could go in breakdowns or other emergencies and be relatively safe. Without them it is not a motorway only an extra wide dual carriageway with all the inherent dangers that motorways were supposed to solve.

If you want to see a smart motorway go to Germany and drive on the A61 particularly when it passes over the Hunsruck. They have gantry signs that change to stop slow vehicles (lorries, towing etc) from overtaking and variable speed limits to alleviate bunching on the hills. Opening and closing a lane is not smart nor is putting lay byes on a motorway unless you can guarantee that is where emergencies will occur becuse many problems experienced while driving do not give you the luxury of being able to continue for an unknown distance.

On the subject of undertaking the Americans have always allowed it on their freeways. We only allow in dense generally slow moving traffic or filter lanes leaving or dividing traffic going in different directions. It is certainly not allowed to pass the idiots that are abuisng the offside overtaking lanes leaving nowhwere to overtake.
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b33jay
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

marksfish wrote:
Indeed. There was a bad accident M1 (N) last week. The traffic was 6 mile queuing and I saw 2 fire engines and an ambulance trying their best to get past. Okay, so that bit of motorway isn't "smart" yet, but the hard shoulder was closed off and occupied by road workers and their equipment.


Perhaps we should adopt the German motorway rule?

On German motorways during traffic jams, motorists in the left lane are required to move as far to the left as possible and those in the adjacent centre or right lane must move as far to the right in their lane as possible, thus creating a gap (Rettungsgasse) between the lanes for emergency vehicles to pass through.

Note that this way an emergency lane is available even if there is a hard shoulder which could be blocked.
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ScaniaUltimate
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:18 pm    Post subject: Re: undertaking Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
BovGregg wrote:
so what is the law on undertaking?
Should you really be driving if you don't know? Rolling Eyes Very Happy


Yes they should.

The roads are there for people of all abilities; mental & physical. It is the assumption that every driver is as knowledgeable and capable as our wonderful selves that causes so many problems.

If you have passed the driving test you are welcome on the roads. If your knowledge of the road laws appears to be less than mine I will make allowances for you & not be angered by your lack of knowledge.
If you are not as physically able to drive as fluidly as I, I will allow for that too without angst.
If you are young & inexperienced (but usually fast!) I will move over for you when possible.

I hope you reciprocate when I make my mistakes.

There is no perfect driver or even one with knowledge of every road law.
Acceptance of that fact fosters greater tolerance & better driving.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: undertaking Reply with quote

BovGregg wrote:
Well I was always taught not to undertake so has the law changed for some people.
No. There you go. Question answered.

What's more relevant, as Kremmen pointed out, why are you driving in an outer lane with a clear lane to your left so that being undertaken is a possibility/probability? Shocked That is called lane hogging and is also against the law punishable by fines/points (if ever anyone bothered to do something about it). Very Happy
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Smart! Reply with quote

xant14 wrote:
Ridiculous idea of using the hard shoulder. So confusing, do I? don't I!
You take notice of the overhead signs. If there is a red cross r=there you don't and if there is not a red cross, you may.

Quote:
Until drivers are educated... and fined! for staying in the overtaking lanes, then I don't think we can fix our roads.
They never will. And fining them will make no difference. (take mobile phone use whilst driving as an example)
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: undertaking Reply with quote

ScaniaUltimate wrote:
M8TJT wrote:
BovGregg wrote:
so what is the law on undertaking?
Should you really be driving if you don't know? Rolling Eyes Very Happy
Yes they should.
I bet you hug trees and hoodies as well. Very Happy
But to announce on a forum that you don't know the driving laws that you are subject to whilst driving is just pain silly. If you don't know, get out your copy of the highway code and give it a good stiff reading. Rolling Eyes
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ScaniaUltimate
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:41 pm    Post subject: Re: undertaking Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
ScaniaUltimate wrote:
M8TJT wrote:
BovGregg wrote:
so what is the law on undertaking?
Should you really be driving if you don't know? Rolling Eyes Very Happy
Yes they should.
I bet you hug trees and hoodies as well. Very Happy
But to announce on a forum that you don't know the driving laws that you are subject to whilst driving is just pain silly. If you don't know, get out your copy of the highway code and give it a good stiff reading. Rolling Eyes


I see little point in hugging a tree but what is a hoodie if not a youth in a fashion garment? If a hug would brighten their day of course I would oblige; they are human like us.

I think the poster is having his 'question' answered in a much more beneficial way thorough this forum than the Highway Code could provide. The alternative views & human element provide a much better perspective of the flat, dull rules detailed in the Highway Code. Let us not forget, most of the content of the Highway Code contains Rules, not Law.
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ScaniaUltimate
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Smart! Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
xant14 wrote:
Ridiculous idea of using the hard shoulder. So confusing, do I? don't I!
You take notice of the overhead signs. If there is a red cross r=there you don't and if there is not a red cross, you may.
)


Ooops. I don't think this is correct.
Time to get the Highway Code out?

I'm afraid I'm merely human (therefore I don't know the rules & laws 100%) but a quick search suggests it is not that simple. Maybe hence the confusion for us mere mortals?
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ScaniaUltimate
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:25 pm    Post subject: Re: undertaking Reply with quote

BovGregg wrote:
so what is the law on undertaking? I get cars undertaking me what ever lane I am in. This seems to happen more on smart motorways with 4 lanes.Very dangerous.


Undertaking is not a term used in the Highway Code to define vehicles passing vehicles on the nearside. It is used in the Highway Code in relation to cycles passing on the nearside in Rule 72:

Rule 72
On the left. When approaching a junction on the left, watch out for vehicles turning in front of you, out of or into the side road. Just before you turn, check for undertaking cyclists or motorcyclists. Do not ride on the inside of vehicles signalling or slowing down to turn left.


The Highway code is also packed with Rules rather than Laws & there is no Law against 'undertaking' in relation to passing a vehicle on the nearside.

Rule 163 covers overtaking which includes the following:
stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left
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