Big rise in smart motorway speeding tickets

The introduction of smart motorways has seen a big rise in speeding fines, according to an investigation by the BBC’s One Show.

In a report to be broadcast on Monday 7 November, it emerges that between 2010 and 2015 fixed penalties issued on smart sections increased from 2,000 to 52,000.

The One Show asked 12 police forces in England which monitor major stretches of smart motorway, including parts of the M1, M25, M4, M42 and M6, for the total number of speeding tickets and fines collected.

The majority of forces responded, with half supplying directly comparable data, showing that a total 52,516 tickets had been issued on these stretches in 2014-15 compared to 2,023 in 2010-11.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport told the programme: “Smart motorways smooth traffic flow and cut congestion for millions of motorists, with evidence from trials showing they are just as safe as regular motorways. Enforcement is a matter for the police and it is clear that speeding costs lives. However, we have been clear for a number of years that speed cameras should not be used to generate revenue.”

Shaun Pidcock, head of Highways England’s smart motorway network, is quoted as saying they were “the safest motorways on the network”.

“We have 100% CCTV coverage and we have people watching over them, making sure they’re safe, and we can get people in the traffic office to them far safer and quicker than we can do on normal motorways.”

The report is on The One Show on BBC One at 7pm.

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