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    Vasstech Team Memebers

    8th February 2018

    Top 5 facts on the recent M1 speed camera turn on

    M1 sign on a sunny day

    The era of smart motorways has arrived, and with it, new rules and stricter penalties. The most recent motorway to be affected by these regulations is the M1, the lifeline between Leeds and London.

    During 2017, four speed cameras situated between Tibshelf services and junction 29A at Duckmanton, fined 8,382 drivers, making them the most profitable speed cameras in the country. Now, the same area and the majority of the M1 have become a smart motorway, enforcing new rules and penalty schemes. Therefore, we have listed our top 5 facts, so you know exactly what to expect when commuting on this road, and all of the smart motorways to come!

    24/7 speed cameras

    The M1 now has an unavoidable 70mph speed limit and is monitored 24/7 by motorway police. Furthermore, all variable speed cameras have been replaced with speed cameras that are operational 24/7. The introduction of smart motorways aims to improve traffic flow, provide drivers with up-to-date traffic information, and ultimately, reduce the number of collisions by setting a standard 70mph speed limit.

    New speeding penalties

    The speeding penalty on smart motorways is different to the traditional system when the minimum fine was £100 and the maximum £2500. Now, offences are categorised into bands. Band A is assigned to a driver when they exceed the speed limit by 1 mph – 10 mph, resulting in a penalty of 25% – 75% of their weekly wage. Band B is assigned to a driver when they exceed the speed limit by 11 mph – 20 mph, resulting in a penalty of 75% – 125% of their weekly wage. Finally, a driver that exceeds the speed limit by more than 22 mph falls into Band C, where they will be accountable for paying a penalty of 125% – 175% of their weekly wage. Additionally, motorists who have been driving for less than two years can have their license revoked if they fall into Band C, equivalent to a six penalty point charge.

    Key smart motorway feature

    Despite the considerably higher penalties for breaching speed limits, smart motorways are designed to reduce the opportunity to speed. Smart motorways calculate the volume of traffic on motorways and have the ability to close a lane if the motorway is too sparse, leaving less room for speeding. Likewise, if there is congestion, a smart motorway will open additional lanes to improve the flow of traffic and reduce journey times.

    New learner requirements

    From 2018, learners will be required to complete driving lessons on motorways. Under the new plans, learner drivers will need to be accompanied by a motorway approved driving instructor in a car fitted with dual controls. This has been introduced in anticipation of the changing and stricter regulations as a result of smart motorways, ensuring that newly qualified drivers have adequate motorway driving experience before they are able to pass their test.

    Having questions about recent updates on the smart motorways?Contact our specialist

    Future smart motorway locations 

    Transforming the M1 into a smart motorway was phase one. From 2018, plans have been made to introduce smart motorways to the M6, M25, M3, M20 and M5. It is expected that all smart motorways will follow the standard regulations that the M1 now imposes.


    At Vasstech, we aim to provide the best motoring knowledge for our customers, so that you can confidently embark on your journeys. If you are still unsure on the new rules and regulations that smart motorways will implement and would like to know more, contact us today.

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