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New smart motorway emergency areas highlight need for driver re-education

Alphabet is calling for re-education of UK drivers as trials of a new-style emergency area start on the M3 smart motorway.

Emergency Rescue Area on smart motorway

The Government has a dedicated website offering advice on how to use smart motorways.

The redesigned emergency area uses a bright orange road surface and along with clearer signs on where to stop, additional distance markers between ERAs, and better signage that uses the SOS acronym in a bid to improve driver awareness of what do to in an emergency.

In response, Craig Grant, head of account management at Alphabet GB, said: “The improved safety and efficiency of smart motorways is well documented by industry commentators and the Government alike, but with a change to how our roads run comes the need for a re-education on how UK drivers should be using smart motorways, particularly if there is different road guidance for drivers such as new road signs.

“The news this week that the Highways Agency is trialling a new emergency area on the M3 highlights this potential pitfall for the Department of Transport.

“The Government has a dedicated website on ‘How to drive on a smart motorway’ already in place but the question is whether this has actually filtered down to everyday drivers. The revamping of our motorways is to be welcomed, but we need to ensure that drivers are properly educated to use these new roads otherwise the improved safety and efficiencies won’t be realised.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.