Smart Motorway Rumours Are ‘Fake News’ Says AA President

Thu 10th Jan 2019

The recent spate of social media stories surrounding speed cameras being turned on in the New Year have been described as ‘fake news’ by AA President, Edmund King.

There were hundreds of social media posts appearing in the New Year suggesting that motorway cameras in variable limit zones had been switched on permanently, with the M1, M25, M6 and M42 referenced in relation to a switch-on at midnight on January 7th.

Tickets were claimed to be auto-generated and would target cars travelling at speeds from 72mph. The rumour seemed to grow new angles as the message spread, with some saying that Transport for London had warned taxi-drivers of the changes.

However, despite this not being the first time the rumours have appeared, Highways England admits that the cameras on smart gantries are always active, regardless of whether a lower limit is in place or not. Like most speed cameras though, there is a grey area as to what is the actual speed you will get flashed at, but the leeway is likely to be higher than two miles per hour on motorways.

Addressing the rumours on LinkedIn, the AA President, Edmund King said: “Lots of questions about supposed new speeding fines ie "SMART cameras on M1, M6, M42 and M25  now active, they are set at 72mph. The auto ticket generating system issues a 6 point penalty and hefty fine."  Yes cameras are active but the standard fixed penalty is still 3pts and £100 fine.”

He added: “Variable speed cameras are certainly active on M25 and M1 but likely to be more than a 2mph variance as speedometers are not 100% accurate. Fake bit is they automatically issue tickets with 6 points etc. They don't.”

So the advice is clear, whilst you won’t get flashed by a camera of you creep a couple of miles over the speed limit, you still have to pay attention to the rules of the road and with the cameras turned on they will always catch those who totally disregard the speed limits.