Sep 9, 2022

Smart motorways: Lack of hard shoulder contributed to death - coroner

The lack of a hard shoulder on a stretch of smart motorway in South Yorkshire contributed to the death of a grandmother, a coroner has ruled. Senior Coroner Nicola Mundy said the fact no drivers reported the stranded car had also contributed to her death. Recording a conclusion of "Road traffic collision", she told Doncaster Coroner's Court on Friday that the drivers of 153 vehicles had passed the vehicle before the crash without alerting National Highways. Ms Mundy said: "The absence of a hard shoulder and the absence of any report to National Highways to notify them of the stationary vehicle so that lane closures could be put in place both contributed to Mrs Begum's death." A number of National Highways directors and employees, including chief executive Nick Harris, told the coroner this was not practicable and the coroner asked whether more could be done to educate the public about this fact.

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