'Plans to roll out smart motorways across the country were dealt a fresh blow last night after a widow announced she plans to sue Highways England for corporate manslaughter.
A spate of deaths in the last year have raised concerns about the safety of the road - which use technologies and strategies to reduce congestion and increase capacity.
These methods include using the hard shoulder as a running lane and using to control the flow of traffic.
Four people have been killed on the M1 in just 10 months after being hit by traffic in a live lane that used to be the hard shoulder, The Sunday Telegraph reports.
In each case, the victim died after failing to reach a safe lay-by - also known as an emergency refuge area - on the same 16-mile stretch of the motorway, according to the paper.
In June, Jason Mercer, 44, and Alexandru Murgeanu, 22, were killed when a lorry ploughed into them after they pulled over to exchange contact details.
Mr Mercer's widow, Claire, claims Highways England is responsible as it failed to provide her husband with a safe zone.'
Read more: Four people die on 'smart motorways': Deadly record of carriageways without a hard shoulder is exposed as legal action puts their future in doubt
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