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New speed cameras for UK motorways


By Ian Lewis

Some critics have slammed plans to install grey 'stealth cameras' on sections of major motorways to target motorists travelling over 70mph.

The Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) claims that because the Highways Agency's cameras will be harder to spot than the normal bright yellow ones they will have no impact on drivers' speed.

The organisation, which has called for the motorway speed limit to be raised to 80mph, suggests instead they are designed to generate income through fines.

Until now motorway cameras have mainly been positioned to enforce variable speed limits on stretches of motorway where roadworks are being carried out.

Cameras to be installed on busy stretches of motorways

But now the new cameras are to be installed on regular, busy stretches of various motorways including the M1, M6 and M25.

The cameras are to be deployed on so-called smart motorways - stretches where the flow of traffic is controlled by various methods including speed limits and use of the hard shoulders when necessary.

ABD spokesman Roger Lawson said: "We are opposed to speed cameras in general.

"The evidence of their success in promoting safety is not good and in reality what is happening now is that the police are using speed cameras to fund their other activities through speed awareness courses.

'Cameras will be harder to spot'

"If these cameras are grey rather than yellow they are going to be harder to spot and so will have no impact in slowing traffic down.

"If there is a good reason for the traffic to be slowed down then the cameras need to be as visible as possible."

But the Highways Agency insists the new cameras would be signposted and visible and says it is up to motorists to stick to the speed limit.

A spokesman said: "These are not stealth cameras. They are more visible than they were before.

Smoothing out traffic flows

"These motorways are not about speed limits. They are about smoothing the traffic flows and increasing capacity. The onus is on the driver to abide by the speed limit."

The results of a recent survey published in Autocar magazine suggest that the vast majority of motorists could be at risk of being caught by the cameras.

The poll found that 95 per cent of UK drivers admit to driving faster than 70mph when they are on the motorway.

Not all motorists breaking the 70mph speed limit end up with points on their license.

Those driving as fast as 86mph in a 70mph zone can generally avoid points if they opt to attend a self-funded speed awareness course.

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