England

M40 fatal crash: Renewed calls for fog sensors

M40 crash
Image caption Police said it was a "serious blessing" more people were not killed in the crash

There have been calls for fog sensors to be installed on the M40 almost a year after a fatal crash involving more than 30 cars.

The pile-up happened between junctions nine and 10 on the northbound motorway in Oxfordshire on 14 February.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said at an inquest he would write to Highways England and ask it to investigate installing fog sensors.

But Highways England said a decision has not yet been made.

Robert Pilott, 65, of Woking, Surrey, died in the accident in which six other people were seriously injured and 55 had minor injuries.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Police described the crash as "extraordinarily large"

In a statement Highways England said it received a letter about fog detection systems from the coroner last autumn.

It said: "We are now looking into the coroner's recommendations to improve safety at this location.

"Once we have completed our review, we will be in a position to make a decision and will keep people informed."

Former paramedic Graham White said it was known before the motorway opened that there could be problems with fog.

He said fog sensors "should have been put in as soon as they were available".

Highways England is currently upgrading the messaging signs along the M40 as part of a £1.7m project.

Richard Owen, operations director of Road Safety Analysis in Banbury, said fog detection systems could be installed at the same time.

He said: "If there are high numbers [of accidents in the fog] I think it would be a very good idea for them to invest in this new technology."

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