News & Features

Highway Code Updates for Smart Motorways

Posted in General News on Monday, September 20th, 2021

National Highways has made various changes to the Highway Code to make drivers safer on high speed roads including smart motorways. The updated Highway Code includes: 

  • Clearer advice on where to stop in an emergency 
  • Clarification on the importance of not driving through a lane marked with a red X 
  • The use of variable speed limits to manage congestion 
  • Updated guidance on key factors that contribute to driver safety including driving when tired, tailgating, driving in roadworks, unroadworthy vehicles and safe towing 

The updated Highway Code is available on and the updates will be included in the next print edition of the Highway Code which will become available in the early part of next year. 

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Alistair Barclay's Gravatar
Alistair Barclay

Monday, September, 20th, 2021

Given the opposition to these "smart" motorways from every one including the police I do not understand why they are not removing them let alone adding highway code rules

David's Gravatar

Monday, September, 20th, 2021

Re-writing a few rules, and adding some more will NOT make Smart? Motorways any safer, it is akin to putting a sticking plaster on a broken leg. The M1 around Sheffield is horrendous, and I personally consider it to be extremely dangerous, refuge areas are few and far apart, and even under speed restrictions vehicles travel far too close to each other, as a disabled driver I know if anything happened to my vehicle, I would struggle to exit the vehicle before it was rammed from behind, even if I managed to escape the vehicle safely, I would be unable to seek safety due to an inability to climb over the crash barriers that are fitted on extended stretches of this insane road.

Steven Shaw's Gravatar
Steven Shaw

Wednesday, September, 22nd, 2021

As a disabled driver, the prospect of finding myself broken down in a live lane on a motorway is nothing short of terrifying. As a former recovery vehicle driver I have worked on the hard shoulder repairing vehicles and changing wheels, I have also had to jump out of the way of vehicles that have drifted off the road onto the hard shoulder. Nobody will ever convince me that smart motorways are safe let alone smart.

Diane 's Gravatar

Tuesday, September, 21st, 2021

I agree with previous comment from David about the refuge areas, I drive a drive from wheelchair vehicle with a tailgate and lift no way would I be able to get over safety barriers, so would be taking a risk with my life.

David Hills's Gravatar
David Hills

Tuesday, September, 21st, 2021

Never mind new rules when will they see sense and scrap these so called smart motorways. The emergency services are having a horrendous job reaching incidents now that there is no hard shoulder and it will not be long before there is a fatality involving one or more emergency personnel. WAKE UP - Get rid!

Kevin Carter's Gravatar
Kevin Carter

Wednesday, September, 22nd, 2021

I think this is ridiculous as these motorways should be getting removed. Just 2 weeks ago I was on the M25 and we drove past a 3 vehicle collision with not warning until the next overhead sign past the actual incident saying ‘warning of accident’. If the idiots controlling the signs can’t even get simple things like this right, how can we trust the so called ‘smart’ motorways? Technology can and often does fail us and this does not make a safer road to drive on.

Ann's Gravatar

Monday, November, 29th, 2021

I'm driving to Glasgow from London with my husband who is a wheelchair user and I have suddenly realised that the M1 and M6 are now smart motorways. This is terrifying...if we breakdown I would be in a live lane and would not be able to get him out of the vehicle or over a barrier. The decision to carry on with smartmotorways is totally insane and has not been thought through.