It took two years for smart highway safety cameras to be implemented after the first recommendation.
Two years after ministers originally advocated it, SMART MOTORWAY stopped vehicle detection was implemented as a safety policy.
Stopped vehicle detection (SVD) cameras have been part of Highways England’s “normal rollout” since May 2018, according to Mike Wilson, Chief Highways Engineer. The Transport Select Committee, on the other hand, first supported the use of the cameras in 2016.
At yesterday’s evidence session, Transport Committee chair Huw Merriman probed officials of the Department for Transport and Highways England on the life-saving technology.
Mr Merriman stated that the Committee was assured that the technology would be implemented in 2016.
He questioned who was to blame for the technology not being installed after a heated argument.
“Back in 2016, you informed this committee that we are convinced it works and that it will be part of the regular rollout moving forward,” Mr Merriman added.
“That didn’t happen; why didn’t it happen?”
“It did happen; it was a part of our standard specification starting in May 2018,” Mr Wilson said.
“What you’re saying is that starting on May 9, 2016, all lane-running smart highways were equipped with stopped vehicle detecting technology,” Mr Merriman said.
“No, that’s not what I’m saying…,” Mr Wilson responded. I stated that it will be part of the routine rollout going forward, which it was as of May 2018.”
“Come on, that [response]isn’t good enough,” Mr Merriman added.
Acting Chief Executive of Highways England, Nick Harris, confessed they had created the “false impression.”
Highways England may have been “clearer” about the SVD camera timeline, he admitted.
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Stopped vehicle detecting technology was never given a time limit, according to Transport Minister Baroness Vere.
Despite being promised five years ago, she said halted vehicle detection is now being installed.
“It should be noted that all lane-running motorways were built to operate safely without [SVD],” Ms Vere continued.
“As a result, while we are moving at a rapid speed, I have hastened the SVD rollout.
“I believe there was a lack of clear communication in that area, which led to a lack of confidence.
“We apologize for that, and we have done everything we can to expedite SVD and get it out on the system.”Brinkwire Summary News”.