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Variable speed cameras land drivers with millions of pounds in fines

Variable speed cameras land drivers with millions of pounds in fines

UK motorists have been handed fines totalling up to £526m after driving too fast on stretches of motorway with variable 'smart' speed cameras, according to research by Confused.com.

Variable speed cameras are used to enforce temporary speed limits in order to reduce congestion and improve safety during poor driving conditions.

They were first installed on UK motorways in 2013. Since then, 210,538 drivers have been caught exceeding the limit, each facing a fine of up to £2,500.

With more variable speed zones planned across the UK as part of smart motorway schemes, it's likely the number of fines will rise even further.

Variable speed limits on motorways can lead to the limit dropping from 70mph to speeds of just 20mph, and a survey by Confused.com found that drivers think the sudden change in speed caused by these cameras is to blame for accidents.

Two in five (40%) drivers surveyed agree that variable speed cameras cause motorists to brake more suddenly and over a quarter (28%) said there is not enough notice before a change in speed. In fact, one in three (33%) went as far as to say that the sudden change in speed in variable zones is dangerous.

One in three (32%) motorists who have driven in these zones have had an accident or near-miss, or know someone who has, and another one in five (19%) have witnessed an accident or near-miss right in front of them.

Drivers need to learn more about variable speed cameras, the research suggests.

When unprompted, 27% of drivers were unfamiliar with what variable speed cameras actually are, and one in five (19%) admit they are often unsure if the speed limit is advisory or compulsory. Only one in 10 (10%) knew that variable speeds on UK motorways can drop as low as 20mph.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, advised drivers to research their route before heading out to identify any areas where there may be a dramatic drop in speed.

"Keeping a considerable distance between your own car and the car in front can also help to avoid any sudden braking," she added.

Do you support the use of variable speed cameras on the motorway?


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Posted 25 May 2017 by Jodie Salter

Tags: camera, confused.com, motorists, speed

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