Thousands of drivers heading through Bedfordshire have been caught speeding by smart motorway cameras between junctions 10 and 13 on the M1, leaving them millions of pounds out of pocket.
Since variable speed cameras were installed on the M1 in 2013 and 2014, a whopping 29,7712 drivers have been caught exceeding the limit, which can drop from 70mph to speeds of just 20mph.
And with offenders charged with fines of up to £2,500 for exceeding motorway speed limits, motorists may be facing a total £74m1 ticket.
Drivers in Bedfordshire fall victim to variable speed cameras when travelling from Luton to Milton Keynes, although it seems that the road between junctions 10 and 11, travelling northbound, has proven to be the biggest sting for motorists.
Since variable speed cameras were installed in 2013, 18,057 drivers have been prosecuted for exceeding the limit on this stretch alone.
Together, motorists across the UK have faced up to £526 million in fines, after 210,5382 drivers have been caught exceeding the limit, which can drop from 70mph to speeds of just 20mph.
And it’s likely the number of fines will rise even further, with more variable speed zones planned across the UK as part of so-called ‘smart’ motorway schemes.
Many of those drivers who have been caught exceeding the speed limit agree that variable speed zones have a lot to answer for. One in 20 motorists have been caught speeding in these zones, with the majority of drivers claiming they did not realise a change in speed was being enforced at the time. However, some may argue speeding motorists are using variable cameras as a scapegoat, as the research suggests that these drivers are regular speeders – on average having been caught twice by variable cameras
Perhaps the reason so many motorists are being caught out is linked to confusion about variable speed cameras. Only one in 10 knew that variable cameras on UK motorways can drop to 20mph, so it may not be surprising that so many are caught out by drastic drops in speed.
But in spite of their bad rep, variable speed cameras are not the most hated among motorists. The research showed that mobile police cameras are by far the most disliked type of speed camera.