Stretch of smart motorway that killed four raises £6m speeding fines

Killer stretch of smart motorway rakes in £6MILLION: Speed cameras snare 62,337 drivers for going over the limit in nearly three years along 16-mile section of M1 where four people died

  • Cameras between J30 & 35A of the M1 in Yorkshire have made £6.2m in 2 years 
  • Majority of people caught speeding after temporary limits brought in 
  • Jason Mercer, 44, died on 16-mile stretch after he pulled over and was hit  

A stretch of smart motorway where four people have died has earned the Government more than £6million in speeding fines in just under three years.

Cameras between Junctions 30 and 35A of the M1 in Yorkshire have seen 62,337 speeding tickets issued since early 2017. 

In those two years and eight months, fines have earned the Government a total of £6,233,700, reports the Sunday Telegraph.  

Most of the drivers caught speeding were fined after Highways England reduced the speed limit on parts of the 16-mile stretch from 70mph, figures reveal.

Officials imposed temporary restrictions as low as 30mph on parts of the motorway, with the new lower speed limits resulting in 52,948 fines of the 62,337. 

Relatives of some of those killed on smart motorways have accused them of being a ‘cash cow’. 

Speed cameras on a section of ‘smart motorway’ between Junctions 30 and 35A of the M1 in Yorkshire have seen 62,337 speeding tickets issued since early 2017, figures reveal. File image used

Claire Mercer, whose husband Jason, 44, was killed in June when he pulled over near Junction 34 and was hit by oncoming traffic, slammed the figures.

The 3 types of smart motorway 

1. Controlled Motorway

Multiple lanes, variable speed limits and a hard shoulder for emergencies only. 

2. Dynamic Hard Shoulder

Variable speed limits and a hard shoulder that can be turned into a fourth lane when needed. 

Drivers are told via electric overhead signs to use the hard shoulder during peak hours. 

3. All-Lanes Running

Variable speed limits and a permanent fourth lane instead of a hard shoulder. 

Emergency refuge areas can be found every 2.5km (1.55 miles). 

She told the newspaper: ‘While no one condones speeding, my worry is the Government may be determined to keep smart motorways because they are producing so much money for the treasury through these fines. 

‘The Government remains determined to continue rolling out smart motorways despite the rising death toll. Are they literally saving money and not lives?’

Smart motorways use the hard shoulder as a lane during busy periods or remove them altogether. 

Motorists can stop at ’emergency refuge areas’, positioned every 1.55 miles.

Campaigners have also slammed them for posing a greater risk to roadside workers.

Recovery worker Steve Godbold was killed instantly after being hit by a lorry who strayed onto the hard shoulder of the M25 in Kent as he helped someone who had broken down.

His partner Samantha Cockerill set up the Campaign for Safer Roadside Rescue and Recovery in his memory.

Jason Mercer died after he pulled over on the M1 in South Yorkshire this year and was hit by oncoming traffic 

She echoed Mrs Mercer’s criticism of the ‘smart’ section of the M1, telling the Telegraph: ‘I am astounded money earned from speeding tickets is not reinvested into roafd safety infrastructure. Is this more about money than safety?’

A single camera on the lethal ‘smart’ section of the M1 has made £1.89million since July 2016, the figures also revealed.  

A Government spokesman said ideally no one would be caught speeding, which would mean a lesser chance of lethal accidents.    

A Department for Transport spokesman said: ‘Speeding is an unacceptable , which is why there are tough penalties and rigorous enforcement.

‘Cameras on smart motorways help to keep these roads safe for users and ensure they also benefit from more reliable journeys. 

‘Ideally, people wouldn’t speed and put their own life and that of others at risk so fines would be redundant.’  

One form of ‘smart’ motorway uses variable speed limits and a hard shoulder that can be turned into a fourth lane when needed. File image used 

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