Horrific moment truck smashes into broken-down caravan and van on smart motorway as debris goes flying

THIS is the horrific moment a truck crashes into a broken-down caravan on a smart motorway with debris flying into the air.

The truck was travelling at speed on the inside lane of the M1 in Nottinghamshire when the accident happened last week.

As there was no hard shoulder, the van and caravan had been forced to stop on the motorway.

Dashcam footage from another vehicle, posted on Facebook, appears to show there were no signs to warn other drivers of the hazard ahead.

The truck driver appears not to notice the broken-down vehicles until it was too late, crashing into the stationary caravan.

In incident happened last Monday between junctions 28 and 29 of the M1.

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No one is thought to have been seriously hurt.

Paul Bancroft, who posted the shocking footage, said: “Smart motorway, light traffic, good visibility, broken down van and caravan and no hard shoulder – what could go wrong?”

The Sun Online has contacted Nottinghamshire Police for an update.

The rollout of 120 miles of smart motorway was delayed until April 2024 by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in January, while more safety data is collected on sections of these roads already operating.

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Reports have highlighted potential problems with the operation of smart motorways.

Internal reports from the National Highways revealed staff had flagged failures, such as cameras not operating correctly, to bosses several times, complaining cameras failed to spot vehicle breakdowns – with potentially catastrophe results.

Another report published earlier this month indicated smart motorways were three times more lethal to break down on than those with a safety lane.

While Mr Shapps has delayed the rollout of 120 miles of smart sections of motorway, a further 100 miles will go ahead because they are more than 50 per cent complete.

Claire Mercer, whose husband Jason was killed in an accident on a stretch of the M1 with no hard shoulder in 2019, said: “You can come up with all the statistics you like.

“But all it should come down to is common sense, because what’s more dangerous, breaking down in a live lane or breaking down on a road with a hard shoulder to pull into?”

In February this year, leaked documents from the National Highways showed that orange paint in emergency refuge areas could be a dangerous skidding hazard on smart motorways.

The paint makes tarmac slippery, especially when it is wet, meaning vehicles pulling into laybys could crash into stopped vehicles or people standing by their car.

Official figures show there were 38 recorded deaths on smart motorways between 2015-2019, with more reported in the years since.

Families and loved ones of those who have died have been campaigning for ministers to urgently address safety on UK motorways.

The government has described smart motorways as "among the safest roads in the UK" even as it decides to halt rollout plans due to safety concerns.

In fact, the fatality rate on so-called smart motorways is up to a third higher than that of conventional highways with hard shoulders, officials figures reveal.

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And last year, the Sun revealed that the motorways are considered so dangerous the AA won't let breakdown crews stop on them.

Near-misses on one stretch of the reconfigured M25 outside London rose 20-fold to 1,485 in the five years since the hard shoulder was taken away.

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