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Smart Motorway Cameras Catch The Not So Smart

Article by: rob brady
Date: 13 Apr 2015

According to statistics obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, speeding tickets issued on the M4 and M5 motorways around Bristol have reportedly skyrocketed from 750 to 23,000 in 2014.

The reason has been put down to the tougher policing of a section of smart motorway in area. The average speed cameras on smart motorways cover varying speed limits - the aim, together with safety, is to improve traffic flow.

Although the media are calling these types of speed cameras "stealth cameras", they are if fact signposted and in plain view. It is thought however that many motorists simply don't believe they are active if they see a clear stretch of road in font of them.

An argument has emerged that the cameras, currently painted grey, should be painted yellow to reflect what motorists are used to. Quite why grey hasn't got the required authority is probably more than a little confusing to the Highways Authority. The colour is being reviewed.

If you do need a live reminder about the cameras next time you're driving in that area, we've had them in our camera alert database ever since they arrived.

It should be noted that these cameras are also catching drivers over 70 mph when there's no variable speed in operation.

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Posted by Kremmen on Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:48 am Reply with quote

Good Very Happy

Traffic flow certainly works. The M25 western section has been a car park for ages during the afternoon peak. In 2004-2006 when they widened it they put in active 40mph cameras to protect the workforce.
During that time, even though we were pinned to 40mph for the 10 mile stretch I got home earlier than when they widened the section and removed the limit.

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Posted by DennisN on Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:53 pm Reply with quote

With regard to the colour, they are indeed grey. But that is just the same as any of the other variable speed Gatsos we have registered (e.g. M42, M1). The "stealth" feature might be where they are mounted - on the reverse of the overhead gantries with the huge speed limit signs at the front (except when there's no limit in operation). These are not the new Hadecs kit.


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Posted by lenfish on Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:21 pm Reply with quote

This story featured in the Daily Mail online last week with the usual comments from "disgruntled of Croydon" claiming the cameras were hidden, a money making scam and the like, notwithstanding the huge, bright in your face speed limit signs. One chap complained why, when the traffic was flowing freely at 50 mph, couldn't the limit be raised, missing the whole point of managed traffic flow!

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