VIDEO | 4,500 caught speeding through smart motorway section of M1
Almost 4,500 motorists have been caught speeding through a section of the M1 in Derbyshire that is monitored by so-called ‘smart’ cameras.
Figures revealed today show how 4,491 drivers have been snapped exceeding the limit between junction 28 at Alfreton and junction 30 at Barlborough since the system was introduced in 2016.
And with offenders facing fines of up to £2,500 for exceeding motorway speed limits, it is estimated that motorists could have to shell out up to £11m.
The figures have been obtained by insurer Confused.com through a Freedom of Information request.
Amanda Stretton, its motoring editor, said: “There seems to be a perception among drivers that variable speed cameras on smart motorways are there to catch people out, and it’s no surprise with up to £526m in fines issued last year alone nationally.
“We’d advise drivers to research their route before heading out to take note of any areas where there may be a dramatic drop in speed.
“Keeping a considerable distance between your own car and the car in front can also help to avoid any sudden braking.”
Variable speed cameras are used on motorways to enforce temporary speed limits in order to reduce congestion and improve safety during poor driving conditions.
However, it’s not just fines and penalty points that are impacting drivers, with many questioning their associated safety implications.
A total of 572 accidents were recorded in variable speed camera zones in 2016 alone.
And it seems drivers think the unpredictable change in speed caused by these cameras is to blame for these accidents, Confused.com claims.
A spokesman said: “One in three – 32% – of motorists who have driven in these zones have had an accident or near miss, or know someone who has.
“And they say this is as a result of sudden braking when motorists realise there is a variable speed limit.
“A further one in five – 19% – have actually witnessed an accident or near miss right in front of them.
“Many of those drivers who have been caught exceeding the speed limit agree that variable speed zones have a lot to answer for. ”
In April, it was reported how cameras had been installed in the roadworks area between junctions 23a for East Midlands Airport and 25 for the A52.
Roadworks are being carried out on the road while construction takes place on a new smart motorway system.
Signs had gone up to indicate the new cameras weren’t in use – but they have since been removed.
Highways England were asked if the speed cameras had been switched on but they declined to comment – adding it’s a police enforcement matter.
Ms Stretton said: “Of course, speeding can land drivers with more than an expensive ticket as motorists with points for speeding can also face increased car insurance costs at point of renewal.
“So if you are one of the many drivers who has recently received a speeding ticket, you should consider shopping around and comparing prices online.”