9 tips on how to drive safely and legally on a smart motorway

Smart motorways are controversial - but they're here to stay.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 7:51 am

A smart motorway is a section of a motorway which uses traffic management methods designed to increase capacity and reduce congestion in particularly busy areas. These methods include using the hard shoulder as a running lane and using variable speed limits to control the flow of traffic. The following tips on how to drive safely and legally on a smart motorway are from Highways England...

Never drive in a lane closed by a red X
When you're driving along a motorway you should keep left unless youre overtaking, no matter how many lanes a motorway has - it's a simple rule of the Highway Code
Keep to the speed limits shown on the signs
A hard shoulder is always identified by a solid white unbroken line - if theres no speed limit displayed above it or a red X is displayed, do not use it except in an emergency
A broken white line indicates a normal running lane
If the hard shoulder is being used as an extra lane, use the designated emergency areas for emergencies
If your vehicle experiences difficulties - for example, a warning light comes on - exit the motorway immediately, if you can.
If you break down, put your hazard lights on
Most breakdowns are preventable - keep your car well maintained, check your tyres and make sure you have enough fuel for your journey