Re-education for motorway offenders

People caught committing driving offences on ‘smart’ motorways in England could be offered re-education courses by police.

Smart motorways operate variable speed limits and can open the hard shoulder to traffic to reduce congestion. However, according to reports, police chiefs have said the new road rules are confusing motorists and more awareness is needed.

Figures obtained by BBC Radio 5 live suggest an 18% rise in the number of people caught using the hard shoulder illegally between 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has said it wants to create more awareness of the road rules and improve compliance with them. Ideas being discussed include courses for people who break the variable speed limit, use lanes closed with a red X or use the hard shoulder when it has been closed.

There are currently more than 200 miles of such motorway in England and Wales with another 200 miles either planned or under construction.

Lesley Slater, operations and business development director, LeasePlan UK said, ‘It is important for drivers to take responsibility for their own safety by staying up to date with any new laws introduced.

‘Confusion around what is and what is not legal on the motorway is compounded by the fact that drivers are not allowed to drive on the motorway until passing their practical driving test. This is right from a driver safety perspective but as it isn’t mandatory to have an additional motorway driving lesson, this can lead to gaps in knowledge, confidence and experience.’