Motorists will be fined for driving over 70mph limit on M1 smart motorway, safety chief warns
A safety chief has warned motorists they will be fined if they are caught driving over the 70mph speed limit on a smart motorway.
It comes after the Derby Telegraph revealed the new speed cameras on the smart motorway section of the M1 in Derbyshire are permanently switched on – even when there is not a variable speed limit in force.
Darren Roberts, manager of the Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST) for Derbyshire police, said he was “shocked” to discover the new cameras between Tibshelf services and junction 29A at Duckmanton were the most profitable in the county in 2017.
The four cameras caught 8,382 drivers – with the fastest recorded at an eye-watering 128mph.
But Mr Roberts, who has dealt with scores of horrific crashes during his career, believes the 24-hour cameras should make the roads safer if more people are made aware that they will be prosecuted.
“The cameras are not there to generate money,” he said. “They are there to catch speeders, get reckless drivers off the roads and ultimately lead to a reduction in collisions.”
Cash raised from speeding fines goes directly to the Government.
Mr Roberts issued a heartfelt plea to motorists to take their foot off the accelerator, saying the “extreme trauma” of fatal and serious crashes can rip families apart and mentally scar people for life.
“To all the speeders out there: imagine if you had to knock on the door of a victim’s family to tell them their loved one had died because of your reckless driving” he said.
“It’s just not worth the risk. Speeding can never be justified. Why put lives on the line to arrive a few minutes early?”
CREST is working with the Derbyshire roads policing unit to crack down on Fatal 4 offences – speeding, drink or drug driving, using mobile phones behind the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt.
“Some people will always drive over the speed limit, or use their mobile phone behind the wheel, but we’re trying to educate people – especially younger drivers – of the severe consequences of their actions,” Mr Roberts said.
“If you are using your phone and are distracted for even a few seconds, you could cause a serious crash and take someone’s life.
“Slow down, concentrate on the road and don’t risk your life or the lives of others.”
The M1 was converted into a smart motorway between junctions 28, for Matlock and Mansfield, and 31, for Sheffield and Clowne, in June 2016.
The stretch currently has a mixture of average speed checks and normal cameras. The normal cameras police the reduced speed limits that apply in some conditions, as indicated by the overhead signs, but the Derby Telegraph revealed earlier this month that they also operate when there is no reduced limit.
Major roadworks are currently under way to convert the stretch between junctions 23A, for East Midlands Airport, and 25, for the A52, into a smart motorway too.
Smart motorways use cameras and overhead signs to control the speed and flow of traffic, increasing the capacity of motorways without the cost of physically widening them.