A campaign group is also seeking a judicial review of the government’s decision to introduce smart motorways.

It has appointed Yogi Amin, human rights lawyer and partner at Irwin Mitchell to pursue the case and has raised almost £10,000 of the £20,000 it needs to fund the case on crowdfunding site Crowd Justice.

The Smart Motorways Kill campaign group was launched by relatives and friends of some the 38 people that have died since 2015 on smart motorways.

The group’s concerns centre on all lane running on smart motorways - where hard shoulders are converted into live lanes - and on the lack of emergency refuge areas.

It also points to the patchy provision of technology designed to protect motorists that are forced to stop in a live lane. Earlier this year it emerged that radar technology to detect stationary vehicles in the live lane has only been installed on two areas of the M25 so far.

Even with the radar detection system in operation, Highways England's own findings show that it takes an average of 17 minutes to detect a vehicle stopped in the slow lane, another three minutes to activate the Red X and a further 17 minutes for the vehicle to be recovered.

Near misses on smart motorways have risen twenty-fold in the past five years to 1,485, compared to 72 near misses on the same stretches of motorway in the previous five years, according to Highways England figures.

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Claire Mercer, whose husband was killed in June last year on the M1 is spearheading the crowdfunding campaign.

Jason Mercer, 44, had pulled over near junction 34 to exchange details after a minor collision with a car driven by Alexandru Murgeanu, aged 22. Both men were killed when an HGV hit them.

Claire Mercer said: “The technology provided on this stretch of motorway and indeed on over 80% of all 'smart motorways' is not capable of detecting when only a few cars stop in live lanes, so the lane wasn't closed until after they were killed by an HGV six minutes later.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident, four people have now died on just this stretch of motorway in the last ten months - it’s also happening all over the country, its only just coming to light how many of these incidents are on, and because of, smart motorways.”

She added: “We are calling for an immediate halt to [the Smart Motorway programme], particularly ALR motorways, where there is never a hard shoulder. To do this we need a judicial review of the decision to bring them in.”

The campaign group has also slammed transport minister Grant Schapps for failing to publish a review into the safety of Smart Motorways after pledging to report its findings “within weeks” of their launch in October last year.

Asked why the review had been delayed a DfT spokeswoman told “We haven’t got a date, but we will be publishing the results of the review shortly.”