Features of the Smart Motorway

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Technology is a key feature of a smart motorway. Being a smart driver is also an important feature to make sure all road users benefit.

Technology is a key feature of a smart motorway. Being a smart driver is also important.

Lane control signs

These are square electronic variable signs with three display options:

  • Variable speeds – changing the speed limit as conditions change is at the heart of a smart motorway. The speed limit displayed on the electronic speed sign is the legal speed limit. Smart motorways include automatic enforcement systems to further encourage drivers to keep to the posted speed limit.
  • Red X – when an incident occurs or work is being carried out on the road, the red X is displayed to close the lane. It is illegal and potentially very dangerous to drive under a red X.
  • Green arrow – directs drivers to change lanes.

Emergency stopping areas 

Because there is no shoulder on the northbound lanes, two emergency stopping areas will be built. Normal motorway rules apply; it is illegal to stop in an emergency stopping area for any other reason than an emergency. The stopping areas are fitted with sensors, CCTV cameras, and a phone which connects straight through to Wellington’s Transport Operations Centre (WTOC). Operators at the WTOC are alerted when a vehicle stops in the emergency stopping area and could send a road policing officer to check out the situation. Once a vehicle is ready to leave the emergency stopping area, WTOC operators can use the red X to close the lane allowing the vehicle time to get up to the speed of the main traffic flow.

Variable message signs 

These signs give drivers useful information so they can make informed decisions about their travel.

Being a smart driver

So all road users enjoy the benefits of a smart motorway, everyone has to contribute. It is easy to be a smart driver. All you need to do is:

  1. Keep to the posted speed limit (the posted limit is the legal limit) – the smart system calculates the optimum speed to minimise congestion and to get the maximum number of vehicles through the area. As well as breaking the law, exceeding the speed limit will put drivers to the back of the queue faster and just increase the size and duration of the queue.
  2. Minimise lane changes – changing lanes can have a shockwave effect on following vehicles. If everyone stays in the lane where possible, traffic moves smoothly and everyone arrives at their destination sooner.

Smart motorways are used in several other countries. You can find out about the introduction of smart motorways in Britain by the British Highways Agency.

 

Lane control signs

These are square electronic variable signs with three display options:

  • Variable speeds – changing the speed limit as conditions change is at the heart of a smart motorway. 
  • Red X – when an incident occurs or work is being carried out on the road, the red X is displayed to close the lane.
  • Green arrow – directs drivers to change lanes.

Emergency stopping areas 

 Two emergency stopping areas are to be built on the northbound lanes. The stopping areas will be fitted with sensors, CCTV cameras, and a phone which connects straight through to Wellington’s Transport Operations Centre (WTOC). Operators at the WTOC are alerted when a vehicle stops in the emergency stopping area. They could send a road policing officer to check out the situation. Once a vehicle is ready to leave the emergency stopping area, WTOC operators can use the red X to close the lane allowing the vehicle time to reach the speed of the main traffic flow.

Variable message signs 

These signs give drivers useful information so they can make decisions about their travel.

Being a smart driver

Everyone has to do their bit so all road users can enjoy the benefits of a smart motorway:

  1. Keep to the posted speed limit. The smart system works out the best speed to reduce congestion. Going above the speed limit will just get drivers to the back of the queue faster.
  2. Minimise lane changes – If everyone stays in the lane where possible, traffic moves smoothly and everyone arrives at their destination sooner.

Smart motorways are used in several other countries. You can find out about the introduction of smart motorways in Britain by the British Highways Agency.

 

Māori keywords: 
   
   
   
   
   
   
Samoan keywords: 
 tulaga fetaui/talafeagai  optimal, suitable
 feau/autū  message
 eseese  variable, changeable
 masini  technology
 atamai (poto)  smart
 unai/tagata'ave (loli/pasi/ta'avale)  driver
Tongan keywords: 
 lelei taha, hoa lelei  optimal, suitable
 fekau  message
 feliuiuaki, fetongitongi  variable, changeable
 tekinolosia  technology
 poto  smart
 faka'uli
 driver
Cook Islands Maori keywords: 
 tei tau  optimal, suitable
 karere  message
 tuanga  variable
 kite pakari  smart
 tangata akaoro  driver
Niuean keywords: 
 hokotia/lata  optimal, suitable
 fekau  message
 hikihiki  variable, changeable
 tekenolo  technology
 lotomatala  smart
 tagata fakaholo  driver

Design a poster that encourages people to be a smart driver.

Design a poster that encourages people to be a smart driver.



Lane control signs are square electronic signs with three display options. Image: NZTA.

Stopping areas will be fitted with sensors, cameras, and a phone which connects straight through to Wellington’s Transport Operations Centre (WTOC). Image: LEARNZ.

Variable message signs give drivers useful information so they can make decisions about their travel. Image: NZTA. 

Everyone has to do their bit so all road users can enjoy the benefits of a smart motorway. Image: NZTA.