A poll run by DriveTribe shows that the vast majority of UK road users don't fully understand the rules of smart motorways.
In light of the recent news that 38 people have died on smart motorways* since their introduction in 2015, and that only one in 10 people feel safe on them** we quizzed DriveTribe readers on their smart motorway knowledge.
The most shocking outcome from the DriveTribe quiz is that 92 per-cent of drivers asked didn't know when they're liable for smart motorway speeding fines.
The Highways Agency states that drivers have 60 seconds to comply with a change in the variable speed limit shown on overhead gantries – if they're still over the speed limit after 60 seconds, they can expect a nasty surprise in the post. Given that gantry signposting is one of the key control methods used on smart motorways, it seems more education is required.
We also asked readers to pick which is the most dangerous driving situation they could find themselves in. Some 32% of respondents rated smart motorways' lack of permanent hard shoulders as the most dangerous situation – the same percentage chose 'skidding on black ice.' It seems readers consider smart motorways to pose the same risk as the harshest of seasonal conditions.
When asked to express their strongest opinion of smart motorways, 58% said that they feel at risk on them. Some 24% said they reduce congestion, while 6% believe they make driving safer. A quarter said they hadn't noticed smart motorways at all.