'Deaths unavoidable' on Birmingham's smart motorways

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'Deaths unavoidable' on Birmingham's smart motorways

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'nowhere safe' for broken down drivers to stop
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Lawyer who worked on M6 tragedy speaks amid Commons probe into motorways which run with no hard shoulder

Crash deaths are 'unavoidable' on Birmingham’s smart motorways as there is nowhere safe for broken-down drivers to stop, a lawyer has warned.

Manjinder Singh Kang, of motoring specialists Kang and Co, said the M6 was an 'accident waiting to happen' after working on a case involving the tragic death of a van driver.

The motorist died in a five-vehicle crash after he was forced to stop in live traffic between junctions six and five as there was no hard shoulder.

But no-one involved in the pile-up was prosecuted as there was nowhere for oncoming traffic to go when faced with a stationary vehicle on a 70mph carriageway. The collision was "unavoidable" because of the lack of a hard shoulder, Mr Kang said. The lawyer, who worked on the M6 case four years ago, called for safer measures to be implemented by Highways England before more deaths were caused.

Mr Kang spoke as an investigation into the safety of smart motorways was launched by the House of Commons' Transport Select Committee.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the committee earlier this month that he "inherited" smart motorways, and pledged to get "get rid of confusions".

These include "insane" dynamic hard shoulders, which switch between being used for emergencies and live traffic depending on demand.