'Stealth' speed cameras to be deployed on 300 miles of motorway

Sinead Moore

"Stealth" speed cameras are to be deployed on 300 miles of motorway in the UK, including 11 of Britain's busiest roads.

The M1, M4, M5 and M6, will be monitored by this new generation of speed cameras.

According to the Telegraph, the cameras, which are grey in colour, will be deployed along stretches of "smart motorways" to enforce variable speed limits when the hard shoulder is used as an additional lane at peak times.

They are capable of monitoring four lanes of traffic at the same time, and do not flash when they capture a speeding vehicle.

The latest stealth cameras have been switched on on the M25 in Surrey, where hundreds of motorists have been caught speeding in two months.

Critics have blasted the new cameras for trying to catch motorists out.

Motorists driving only fractionally above 70mph have been penalised and chief police officers have recommended that prosecutions should only be brought when a vehicle is travelling at ten per cent plus 2mph over the limit – that's 79mph on a motorway, reports Car Dealer Magazine.

According to a document published by the Highways Agency, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce have also argued that the cameras should "not be a revenue-raising tool, nor be seen as such".

Derbyshire Police also raised concerns that opening the hard shoulder to traffic would stop its officers from being able to perform roadside checks on motorists.

The Highways Agency responded: "Camera based enforcement provides a safer alternative to stopping drivers on the hard shoulder for this type of offence. Discussions are continuing on the precise details of enforcement with safety camera partnerships.

"The levels of compliance will be monitored closely during the initial operation of the scheme so that appropriate measures can be taken if required."

A spokesman for the Highways Agency added: "Variable speed limits on smart motorways are designed to smooth traffic flow, improve journey times and reduce congestion for millions of motorists while at the same time maintaining safety.

"The vast majority of motorists are sticking to the speed limits. There are clear signs where cameras are in place and the new cameras are more visible than the previous versions."

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