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Highways England – Dynamic Hard Shoulder Compliance Campaign

Road Safety Management, 2015

Smart Motorways are being rolled out across the Strategic Road Network with local and national publicity advising motorists on the operating conditions of the hard shoulder. These campaigns can be limited in their reach and duration which can lead to misunderstanding, misuse and sometimes illegal driving.

Driver education has traditionally been conducted through established methods, e.g. driving theory test and information campaigns. These take time to filter through to the wider driving population, are difficult to evaluate and to understand the effects on driver behaviour and attitude, so a more creative approach was needed to accurately target the illegal use of the hard shoulder.

The concept of issuing warning letters and information leaflets was established to educate rather than punish offenders, to reduce repeat offences and also the likelihood of copy-cat driving. A different approach was clearly needed with over 30,000 recorded offences during a limited campaign.

Highways England led the collaboration of the Police, Safety Camera Partnership and Motorway Operations to implement new back office systems and procedures for the campaign. ARUP and AECOM delivered this unique approach of bringing together independently owned, complex systems and procedures to: identify offending vehicles, their owners and ultimately issue a warning letter and supporting educational information to change behaviours.

An initial system has been active from late 2014 and has seen over 30,000 non-compliant drivers being contacted. Early results show a significant reduction in the number of repeat offenders.