Retraining could be offered to smart motorway offenders

Motorists caught offending on smart motorways may be offered the chance to go on a course rather than getting points and a fine.

The BBC reports that it follows comments by leading police who say the rules for motorways, which include hard shoulder running, are “confusing motorists” and that “more awareness was needed”.

It’s based on figures obtained by BBC Radio 5live suggesting there has been an 18% rise in the number of people caught using the hard shoulder illegally between 2014-15 and 2015-16.

The BBC says the National Police Chiefs’ Council said it wanted to create more awareness of the road rules and improve compliance with them.

Currently people caught speeding or going through red lights are offered the chance to go on a course rather than be fined, provided they haven’t already been on such a course within a period beforehand.

Suzette Davenport from the NPCC told the BBC the scheme would help motorists who are confused about when to use the hard shoulder as an extra lane, “I genuinely don’t know that people understand when it is OK,” she said. “Absolutely there are people who will now use the hard shoulder if there is a queue of traffic so they get off more quickly because they don’t want to sit in a queue.” She added she would be talking to Highways England about developing such a course.

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