Smart Motorway Cameras Not Working

Thu 7th Oct 2021

A major investigation by a national newspaper has revealed that the cameras designed to keep drivers safe on smart motorways are not working in a large number of cases.

The news, which comes after a Daily Mail journalist worked undercover at Highways England, found that 112 of the 804 cameras were either broken, pointing in the wrong direction or unusable.

The investigation found that the cameras in question were even located in some areas of the motorway network which had seen fatal accidents, for example eight out of the 19 cameras on a stretch of the M25 were not working. The stretch between Junctions 25 and 26 of the M25 has seen six deaths in the last five years.

There were similar problems at another smart motorway accident blackspots, with four out of 16 cameras out of action on the M6 near Sheffield.

“We recognise concerns continue to be raised about smart motorways,” said National Highways chief executive Nick Harris. “These upgrades work as a system, with technology, infrastructure and people working together, and data shows fatalities are less likely than on conventional motorways.

"If there is a problem with any one part of the system, other parts are activated to help keep traffic moving safely. Our traffic officers work around the clock, every day of the year to help drivers and deal with incidents.

"We are, however, investigating these allegations as a matter of urgency.”