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The new scheme which plans to introduce more speed cameras to UK roads has been condemned by motoring groups who claim the scheme is more about making money than ensuring road safety.
The Highways Agency is looking at introducing at increasing the amount of speed cameras on the roads to target drivers who are exceeding the motorway speed limit of 70mph. The cameras will be deployed on sections of the motorway called smart motorway, where the flow of traffic will be carefully controlled using a variety of different techniques.
The Highways Agency believe that the introduction of smart-motorways will help to prevent traffic jams and allow traffic to flow more efficiently. The speed cameras will help to control speed limits and the hard shoulder will be made available to traffic where necessary.
However, critics are claiming that the introduction of such cameras to enforce the 70mph speed limit is more about the government generating income through the fines.
A recent survey conducted by Autocar magazine revealed almost 95% of motorists admitted to driving over 70mph while on the motorway. Authorities are currently allowed to exercise a certain amount of discretion when prosecuting speeding motorists ,with drivers travelling as fast as 86mph in a 70mph zone allowed to avoid points if they pay to attend a speed awareness course.
Roger Lawson, a spokesman for the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD), 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.”
He added: “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.”
It is predicted that the new cameras, dubbed Hadsec3 (Highways Agency digital enforcement camera system) will be and running along more than 100 miles of motorway within two years, with the further roll-out eventually covering at least 400 miles of road.