How to use a Smart Motorway Correctly

Important advice from Highways England

Smart Motorways use technology to monitor and manage the flow of traffic.

The technology is controlled from regional control centres which can activate and change signs and variable speed limits. This helps keep the traffic flowing so that you have a safer, more reliable journey.

These technology-enabled sections of motorways have enhancements such as electronic message signs that display red X signs and variable speed limits; sensors to monitor traffic volumes; CCTV cameras and emergency areas, with emergency roadside telephones.

Using the hard shoulder as an extra lane, rather than building a new one, also reduces the impact on the natural environment. And better traffic flow means less impact on air quality from stationary or slow moving vehicles.

Quick Tips

  • Never drive in a lane closed by a Red X.

  • Keep to the speed limits shown on the signs.

  • A hard shoulder is always identified by a solid white unbroken line - if there’s no speed limit displayed above it or a Red X is displayed, do not use it except in 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.

  • Designated emergency areas will be marked with an SOS telephone sign.

  • If your vehicle experiences difficulties, eg warning light, 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.

Visit more in-depth information on how to us

For more info on our driver CPC courses call 07730-748-200
or register your details below
Driver CPC Approved Centre