HA plans smart motorway speed cameras: Telegraph

12.00 | 3 February 2014 | | 4 comments

According to an article in the Telegraph, the Highways Agency plans to deploy speed cameras on “hundreds of miles” of smart motorways to detect drivers exceeding the speed limit.

The Telegraph says that until now on motorway speed cameras have mainly been used to enforce variable speed limits on stretches where road works are taking place.

The Telegraph says these new cameras will be “grey rather than bright yellow” and refers to them as “stealth cameras”. It also says the cameras will be operational on more than 100 miles of motorway within two years, and will ultimately cover at least 400 miles of motorway.

Brake welcomed the announcement while the Association of British Drivers (ABD) has condemned it.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: "Speed cameras are a well evidenced, cost-effective way to improve safety and reduce deaths and injuries. Put simply: speed cameras reduce speeding, which helps to prevent deadly crashes.

"Breaking the speed limit is risky and illegal, so only drivers who break the law will face fines."

Roger Lawson, spokesman for the ABD, told the Telegraph: “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.”

Also speaking to the Telegraph, a spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “These are not stealth cameras they are more visible than they were before. They are about smoothing the traffic flows and increasing capacity.”


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    What a typical reaction from the British Alliance of Drivers. I would certainly welcome them being fitted on all motorways. Perhaps the government should introduce a £1000 levy on any new vehicle not speed limited to 70mph to pay for them. Now there’s an idea!

    Rod King 20’s Plenty for Us
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    This despite the HA’s own report stating that cameras on road works increase accidents and TRL595 saying the same. Problems include tailgating, lane switching – solution? Introduce them anyway and train drivers to deal with the dangers! And if we need to spend large sums of money on these things, why put them on motorways, by far our safest roads? And if the objective is to keep vehicles within speed limits why not £1,000 pa flashing signs, not £30-£50,000 pa cameras?

    Idris Francis Fight Back with Facts Petersfield
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    All the evidence to date is consistent with speed cameras not saving lives and not preventing serious injuries and TRL 959 (the largest report on speed cameras on motorway road works) shows an increase in serious injuries where average speed cameras were used, compared to motorway road works without any speed cameras.

    The proposal to cover hundreds of miles of motorways with speed cameras therefore presents a fantastic opportunity to evaluate the effect of speed cameras on road safety by running them within scientific trials known as “Randomised Controlled Trials” (RCT).

    If scientific trials are not used, we face yet another 20 years of endless argument, all without the necessary evidence that would be so easy to obtain. I would support these speed cameras if run within scientific trials and would appeal to objectors to support speed cameras used within such trials.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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    This is a proposal for the infrastructure required to enable road pricing on the Motorway network. All the statements about “smoothing the traffic flows and increasing capacity” should be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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