posted 3 years ago

New Motorway Cameras To Enforce Speed Limit

New Cameras To Be Installed On M1, M6 And M25

The Highways Agency plans to install cameras on motorways that could enforce the seventy miles per-hour limit. These should provide the authorities with rich pickings as – according to a survey for Autocar Magazine – nearly ninety-five percent of motorists have admitted to speeding on the motorway. Up to this point, enforcement cameras have tended to be temporary fixtures close to roadworks that protected the workers, or mounted in vans by the roadside and on bridges. The new cameras will be installed on the M1, M6 and M25 as part of the smart motorway network. This helps maintain traffic flow by creating capacity via measures such as varying the speed limit and opening the hard shoulder for non-emergency traffic (as necessary). The cameras have been nicknamed 'stealth' cameras by parts of the media as their colouring is likely to be grey rather than the more visible bright yellow. Critics, therefore, have argued that installing cameras that are hard to see will have little impact on slowing down traffic. However, the Highways Agency has stressed that the cameras will be signposted and that - as with every other road type 'the onus is on the driver to abide by the speed limit'.

How The Speed Limit Is Enforced

The smart motorway cameras will not necessarily penalise motorists for slightly exceeding the speed limit. This would be impractical and unpopular enough to cause significant problems for the government. As such – in general terms only - the Association of Chief Police Officers has guidelines that provide motorists with a little breathing room. The rule of thumb is that drivers are not normally punished until they exceed the relevant speed limit by ten percent, plus two miles per hour. On the motorway this is seventy-nine (seventy plus ten percent is seventy seven, plus two miles per hour). Those that are not excessively over the limit are typically punished via a Fixed Penalty Notice that incorporates a one-hundred pound fine, plus three to six penalty points on the licence. More serious cases, however, such as when motorists hit ninety-six on the motorway typically result in court cases and heavier punishments. Repeat offenders that receive twelve points in three years typically have their licences revoked. There are exceptions for those that prove disqualification would have an excessively detrimental influence on their lives. Furthermore, new drivers are banned once they receive six points in two years. This is to encourage responsible driving from the day one.


Bad driving is the main cause of accidents on the motorway. Drivers staying in the centre lane, or using rear fog lights at night in the rain. Why not add a motorway test onto the licence as some drivers just don't know how to drive on them correctly

Unless the rules have changed the camera-installing authority can only keep the money generated by fines if the cameras are painted yellow. The funds from grey cameras go straight to the exchequer. I have no problems with cameras of any colour only with the way the results are administered and the level of the fines. Civilians issuing speeding tickets is bad enough but not even bothering to enquire if there were any special circumstances leading to the offence first is a huge departure from British Justice as there are reasonable excuses that are a defence against any Law-breaking. A fine for breaking a Law is meant to be both a punishment and a deterrent against re-offending. The level at which a fine fulfils its purpose is different depending on the means of the offender. A £100 fine is clearly too high for a member of the working poor or for a person receiving the basic pension but is far too low for anyone earning the National average wage. All fines should be means tested and a Chief Constable, for instance, should face a fine of around £6000 for a speeding offence with a ceiling of perhaps £15,000 for the top earners. The current undemocratic system forces the poor to be much more law-abiding than the rich and that makes as much sense as displays of bad manners being subject to another sort of outrageous fixed penalty fine. Orwell's 1984 grows ever closer...

As in the original TV adverts shown when the motorways first opened, LANE CHANGING is probably the cause if not the content of most motorway accidents, coupled with lack of observation when pulling out to overtake. But there again the change lane to undertaker has a good percentage of idiot driving to shoulder. No it’s not speed so much that kills, but idiot driving practices. Why don’t the police analyse CCTV footage at accidents and throw the book at those causing them through reckless driving. D J Groom

This will make very little difference to loss of life as only 3% of deaths are on motorways. The authorities should be honest about fund raising. Lets have some realistic motorway speed limits rather than 70mph which was decided with the braking capabilities of a Morris Minor.

I live in France. The motorway speed limit is 130 kph or 81 mph and is respected by most drivers. Firstly because this speed is generally felt to be a good compromise between percieved safety, getting there faster, and using more fuel. Secondly although most radar speed traps are fixed and marked there is an increasing use of mobile traps hidden from view. The allowance for over speeding can be as little as 1 kph, hence good compliance. I contrast this with the behavior on M40 where speeds well over 80 seem to be the norm. The UK should have realistic limits, up to 80 mph on the less used motorways and should police the limits rigorously.

i think its an excellent idea, excessive speeding kills, i really dont understand why the goverment allows car makers to make cars that can do extreme speeds which is against the Law but encourages certain people who cant help themselves to use the speed, which in turn kills many innocent people, im really glad but we need more on normal roads to, why dont cars have limiters on them like Lorrys?

In reply to Drip Dry's Comments (11/02/2014 20:50:08) He should just be called "DRIP". Has he been nabbed by the Police of late and nothing better to do than blame them for this subject? Hey there Mr Drip! Don't blame the Police! Blame the Government for cutbacks matey. With all the idiot drivers that use our roads there would never be enough police to go round even if we tripled them!! I am supportive of the Police who have a very difficult job to do with a great deal of restrictions. Bet you Mr Drip, couldn’t even get close to doing even part of their work. I think you should have the name you called them for your inane comments.

Shame these cameras will NOT detect tailgaters, lane hoggers etc etc. Agree with comments re the dangers cameras will cause when people slam on the brakes. Up the speed limit to European levels - perhaps we should lobby the European Parliament :). I thought motorways were the safest roads what is being done to stop 30 limit ignorers? Over 70 on the M25 ... ROFL

Agree with Kirk Dodd's comment totally

If we leave safe driving speeds up to the individual, we are going to be in big trouble. So many drivers would be able to carry this out but so many have an attitude problem as with many of the people that are commenting on speed cameras, that these are the drivers who would continue to drive at a speed unsafe for conditions outside of the speed limit. Many, I agree do drive at a speed to suit conditions and are responsible enough to drive at responsible speeds without any speed limits set for them. You have to ask yourself if you know anyone that drives at any speed they want to regardless of speed limits and you have your answer. We don't live in a perfect world and no one person is perfect but some are very far from being perfect. I am in the driver training industry and whatever you change, you cannot and will not change attitude.

Most British HGV's have limiters of between 54 -58 mph, so the HGV's that are speeding are probably foreign anyway.

Why raise the speed limit when many drivers are breaking it by far more than 10 mph. What speed are they going to get upto if it's raised to 80 mph?

It is not illegal to place 30 mph repeater signs on a public road that carries a 30 mph limit. The repeater signs are there to replace the streetlights, acting as repeater signs, that are not there. eg on approach to a 30 mph area where more land has recently been built on or on hazardous, bendy roads where a 30 mph max. limit is in force, but no street lights.

If you don't want fines, then don't speed, simple. fines go to pay for the roads you're driving on, lighting, emergency services, road safety, how else do you think all this is maintained to the standard we have?

It's just another money making scheme.

Why don't the Agency concentrate on speeding of HGV's if they want to make motorways safer. They should be limited to 56mph but in my experience you have to do over 70mph to keep in front of them. I feel safer doing 80mph in the outside lane keeping out of their way.

I have no sympathy for drivers who exceed the speed limit, if one does not wish to be done speeding by a speed camera then do NOT speed it is not rocket science. if you don't want to pay a fine do not speed!!

Not about road safety Its about cash from fines... We all know that..

This will cause more bunching on the motorways, increasing the number of accidents.

Once again use the motorist as a cash cow. What happened to the sensible suggestion of raising the limit to 80mph? Wouldn't it be interesting if everyone did drive within the 70mph limit for a few months and they raised no money with speeding fines and no doubt lost a lot of revenue from fuel taxes.

Pathetic. The highways should be battering the idiots who stay in the offside lane until they reach their exit, OR, could not give a shit and think they own that lane. P...... off with all of it. These idiots should take a trip to France or Germany for retraining!!!

Time to fit revolving numberplates like Mr. Bond's Aston...

Use the m6 to get to holiday and camping destinations. Would most likely give england a miss once these camaras are installed

Great, so there will be more accidents and 'phantom' jams, as people slam their brakes on when they see a camera, just like the minor roads, but at 70+ MPH ! I though the police favoured raising the limit to 80 anyway ? Nigel

What an awful world we live in these days. Pay, Pay & Pay again. What next?

Acid etch the lenses to make them realise enough is enough

Another form of tax on the working motorist! Grey instead of Yellow Camera Boxes demonstrates its revenue raising rather than risk prevention! Cars improve through the ages while regulators fail to keep pace with the real world!

No wonder the public are not supportive of the Police. They can't even be bothered to get in the car and nick motorists instead of catching the real criminals ! Bastards

Just another way to cash in 90 mph in a modern car and dry conditions driving in a sensible manner is safe enough. a lot of accidents I see on motorways which i travel on extensively are generally in speed reduced area's, because peoples attention spans are lower and tend to play with phone, radio etc.

Think of all that money!!!! this is wot I think should happen, people that wanna go tearing up the roads and speeding all over the place if they get nicked ALL the money should go into filling in all the pot holes, wot do ya think,

for goodness sake,dr koerner is so right,your attention is divided between so many issues its a wonder the accident rate is not higher,leave drivers to their own judgements,we are not idiots and this is not calcutta.LET US BE.

I drove from Dublin to Belfast today. Proceeded up the Irish motorway at around the 75ish limit. Crossed the border and the limit slows to 70. WTF? so we are so regressive we have fallen behind the Republic of Ireland. Conservative jokers.

Nickolas Reeks You Are Wrong..our research shows 44% which is then lowered to around 27% where camera warning or actual cameras are installed.

As the average driver only spends 15 minutes in any one hour period concentrating on the driving task, I think that drivers need to take a bit more responsibility for their own behaviour. Also vehicle speedometers are made to over read. So when you are showing an indicated speed of 30 mph, you are probably actually travelling at about 27/28 mph. This is below the limit. So when you get caught at 37 in a 40, your speedometer is probably showing about 38/39. Stop trying to blame everyone else for your shortcomings and take responsibility for your behaviour.

Why oh WHY don't the British stand up for themselves// I am a researcher into mental health which involves concentration. I can reveal that motorists are now so busy monitoring their speed and the whereabouts of traffic cameras that this distraction is estimated to cause in excess if 38% of ALL urban traffic incidents. This means that we can reliably forecast at least A 31% increase in traffic accidents AT SPEED where cameras are based on motorways.

also force manufacturers to fit accurate speedometers, not the usual 10% fast.

raise the speed limit to 80 mph and enforce it and prosecute anyone speeding above it. 80 mph in France isn't a disaster is it?

Nigel. It's actually illegal to place repeater signs on a public road that carries a 30mph limit. Might I respectfully suggest that you read the rules if you want to okay this game.

Ah, the usual twaddle about making money. I think you need a reality check here. Cars are designed to sustain impacts up to 40mph. That's it. Your body is not generally capable of withstanding impacts above that speed. Also YOU are not trained to drive at high speeds. Remember the faster you go the bigger the mess.

Just another revenue for the gov, M1 M6 & M25 the three busiest motorways, i got caught doing 37 in a 30 locally and they said it was an accident blackspot !! it is a dual carriage way !! and one 30mph sign right at the start of the road on an island where your busy looking for traffic not speed limit signs ! if it is a blackspot then invest money in more 30 signs and hazard warning signs.

I think that the motorway system has improved immeasurably since December 1965 when the 70mph limit was first introduced. Besides today vehicles are both safer, more roadworthy and have vastly improved performance capability compared with those days. Yet we still have the soothsayers warning us that over 70mph is dangerous. Speedss in excess of 100mph are commonplace on several autobahns in Germany, even on carriageways with only two lanes. Time for a realistic review of motorway speed limits, by drivers please not the bureaucrats.

This is for money - pure and simple!

Speeding in ecess is a problem. With modern cars this should be fixed at 80 mph.Drivers hoggin gmiddl and worse fast lanes is a hazard and distracts motoris who drive at recomended speeds.Very slow drivers on M/ways should be taken off and get them to use A roads.

Exceeding the speed limit and tailgating both cause problems for those drivers who do remain within the limit because overtaking is more difficult and more risky when cars are continually passing. If drivers stuck to 70mph everyone else would find driving easier, less risky and more comfortable. I hope the police enforce the limit.

I couldn't disagree more with Alan Pipe. I have a car that is capable of 140 mph and have enjoyed European holidays which have included considerable mileage on German autobahns cruising at over 100 mph. I'm not breaking any law so why should car manufacturers be required to limit the speed of their vehicles.

I can't understand why manufacturers are allowed to produce vehicles that exceed the national speed limit by over 100%.I have asked the DFT they say Britain can't impose restrictions without permission from the EU who would have thought!!

I agree with Trevor Allan, these should be average speed systems. A large minority of motorists kill their speed quite substantially when approaching cameras, even average speed ones. 70 is fast enough, a lot a speeding drivers haven't had accidents because of their skills, but because of the cooperation of their fellow motorists.

They should raise the limit to 80, most modern cars are more than capable of cruising at that speed. Didn't they bring another new law in regarding tail-gateing, would be nice if they could sort out one new law at a time, I wonder how many drivers have been fined for that, in my opinion far worse that going a few miles an hour over the speed limit. Just another stealth tax for the motorist, why not spend some of this revenue on the really poor roads we have to wreak our suspension on!!!

If they were really worried they would ban cars from doing over 70mph, no wasting of money but it will stop the revenue that they need to clear up the bankers mess they made, and the one they are building up for the future! the one they will not tell you about yet but will have to when they have sold of everything, only the NHS left, "Watch out for tomorrow"

Most motorways are barely patrolled be police. Speed doesn't kill (though granted it may slightly increase the severity of an accident at 90 vs 70). Crap driving and poorly maintained vehicles do but we no longer bother doing anything about that. With drivers paying 10 times more in tax than is spent on roads or public transport together you wonder why we're all so cynical when the government wants to create another revenue stream.