Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Hadsec3 Cameras to Enforce 70mph Limit on Motorways

New stealth speed cameras (Hadsec3 - Highways Agency digital enforcement camera system) are to be fitted along motorways for the first time. The motorways included in the plans are the M25 the M6 and the M1 with the busiest sections being targeted. It is believed that the cameras will be grey in colour rather than the bright yellow that is used for current SPECS camera systems that monitor average speed. The grey colour will make them harder to spot which critics say will do little to slow drivers down. The plans propose that the cameras will be running along more than 100 miles of motorway within two years, with the further roll-out eventually covering at least 400 miles.



The new speed cameras will be designed to catch people driving their vehicles in excess of the 70mph motorway speed limit. Previously speed cameras on the motorway have been situated mainly on stretches undergoing roadworks, in order to enforce variable speed limits for safety reasons. Some ‘safety camera partnerships’ have also used them from vans which have been parked on bridges over carriageways.

The Highways Agency who are the ones looking at the widespread introduction of the cameras say they will prevent jams and allow better traffic flow by controlling speed limits, this will work in combination with opening hard shoulders to traffic during busy periods. Motoring groups claim the introduction of cameras is not about road safety but about generating income through fines. They also insisted that the cameras were ‘not stealth cameras they are more visible that they were before. These motorways are not about speed limits. They are about smoothing the traffic flows and increasing capacity.’ They added that new cameras would be signposted and added: 'The onus is on the driver to abide by the speed limit.’

A recent poll in Autocar found that 94.6 per cent of motorists admitted driving in excess of 70mph while on the motorway. So it could be a great revenue stream!

It recently came to light that the Highways Agency launched a consultation regarding the speed limit on a section on the M1 between Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. It could see its speed reduced to 60mph for 12 hours a day - between 7am and 7pm - because of fears that congestion is reducing air quality and would be policed by cameras and police patrols.

Roger Lawson, of 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. 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.' The ABD has called for an increase in the upper speed limit on motorways to 80mph, it was considered by ministers but appears no nearer to becoming law.

Since 2010, some police forces have cut back on their use of speed cameras because the tickets can cost too much to process. However digital technology has made it substantially cheaper and easier to install, monitor and collect information from cameras.

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Sources: Mail Online