‘Stealth cameras’ on smart motorways blamed for surge in speeding fines

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The variety of velocity cameras on motorways has trebled in a decade – and they’re now chargeable for a couple of in ten of all dashing fines issued by police.

The ‘stealth cameras’ have proliferated as a result of they’re deemed essential to controversial sensible motorways.

Figures obtained by the Mail confirmed that greater than 253,000 notices of meant prosecution (NIPs) had been issued within the 12 months to this autumn by 17 of the 20 police forces whose areas cowl sensible motorways in England and Wales.

The figures – which exclude fines issued by non permanent, common velocity verify cameras – reveal for the primary time the extent of dashing penalties issued on motorways.

The number of speed cameras on motorways has trebled in a decade – and they are now responsible for more than one in ten of all speeding fines issued by police

The variety of velocity cameras on motorways has trebled in a decade – and they’re now chargeable for a couple of in ten of all dashing fines issued by police

It comes after dashing fines hit a document 2.3million final 12 months in England and Wales, pushed by the expansion of sensible motorway cameras.

Good motorways account for 416 miles of highway and are anticipated to nearly double in size by 2025, and so an enormous variety of further cameras are as a result of be put in.

Highway bosses plan crackdown on tailgaters

Roads bosses are planning a crackdown on the deadly behavior of tailgating utilizing cameras that monitor gaps between autos.

The expertise is being examined on the M1 in Northamptonshire, and may very well be rolled out nationwide later this 12 months.

Highways England figures obtained by the Each day Mail present the units have caught greater than 26,000 drivers in two months – greater than 400 a day. 

Motorists caught tailgating – driving too near the automobile in entrance – threat a minimal high-quality of £100 and three penalty factors, however these caught in the course of the trial are solely being despatched warning letters.

Greater than 100 persons are killed or significantly injured annually in accidents the place a automobile has pushed too near the one in entrance.

They’re supposed to enhance site visitors stream by various the velocity restrict, utilizing the laborious shoulder as a driving lane and asking drivers to cease in ‘refuges’ if their automobile breaks down.

However the scheme has confronted controversy after a sequence of deadly accidents when automobiles have damaged down in a stay lane. Now campaigners say they’re additionally behind an unfair surge in dashing fines.

Motoring organisations say the cameras are laborious to see. They’re small and sometimes are mounted on the left-hand facet of gantries on the fringe of the motorway. Generally they are often obscured by indicators or vegetation.

To start with, the cameras had been painted gray. They didn’t must be painted yellow – like conventional Gatso cameras – till 2017.

When first put in in 2014, the cameras, of a mannequin often called HADECS3 (Highways Company Digital Enforcement Digital camera System), had been nicknamed ‘stealth cameras’. There have been solely 49 motorway velocity cameras in England in 2010, however there at the moment are 168 in operation on the M1, M25, M3, M4, M5, M6, M20, M42 and M62. All however a handful are on sensible motorways.

An additional ten cameras have been put in on the M4 in South Wales. Scotland has solely began to put in cameras on motorways so no statistics can be found.

Separate figures present that two cameras on a standard stretch of motorway on the M4, operated by the Metropolitan Police, snapped an additional 37,295 motorists within the first ten months of final 12 months – equal to greater than 120 per day.

Final night time motoring teams expressed concern about the way in which they’re getting used.

Edmund King, AA president, mentioned: ‘Nearly all of drivers help using cameras if used for security causes, however there are inconsistencies of their use which may catch drivers out.’

Whereas sensible motorways show indicators warning motorists that cameras are getting used, Mr King additionally referred to as for higher signage to point out precisely the place they’re situated.

‘Indicators needs to be displayed on all gantries when cameras are in place as the target needs to be to sluggish individuals down, not catch them out,’ he mentioned.

The 'stealth cameras' have proliferated because they are deemed crucial to controversial smart motorways

The ‘stealth cameras’ have proliferated as a result of they’re deemed essential to controversial sensible motorways 

Figures obtained by the Mail showed that more than 253,000 notices of intended prosecution (NIPs) were issued in the 12 months to this autumn by 17 of the 20 police forces whose areas cover smart motorways in England and Wales

Figures obtained by the Mail confirmed that greater than 253,000 notices of meant prosecution (NIPs) had been issued within the 12 months to this autumn by 17 of the 20 police forces whose areas cowl sensible motorways in England and Wales

Motoring teams are additionally involved about how the cameras are used. 

Some police forces solely swap them on when lowered velocity limits are in operation, whereas others use them always together with when the usual 70mph restrict applies. 

However Highways England, the federal government division chargeable for main roads, insists velocity cameras are vital on sensible motorways to implement lowered velocity limits when lanes are closed as a result of congestion, breakdowns, collisions or roadworks. It mentioned drivers are made conscious of them by frequent indicators on gantries.

Jeremy Phillips, head of highway security at Highways England, mentioned: ‘We’re not utilizing cameras to catch drivers out or to earn a living out of fines.

‘They’re there to encourage drivers to stay to hurry limits, for the security of everybody utilizing the highway, and to assist site visitors stream freely.

‘That is why they’re shiny yellow and clearly-signed; alerting drivers to the presence of cameras helps to encourage compliance and so improves security.’

Highways England added that it encourages highway customers to report any vegetation or different obstructions hiding cameras from view. 



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