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Stealth Cameras: Money Maker or Smart Decision?

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Plans by the Highway Agency have confirmed a new form of ‘stealth camera’ is set to be rolled out across the UK’s busiest motorways in the aim to catch motorists exceeding the 70mph speed limit after a successful trail period on one of the busiest motorway stretches – the M25.

The new speed cameras will be rather unsuspecting compared to the traditional eyesores that currently grace our roads. So instead of being highly visible and painted in bright yellow, they are intended to be more discreet with a grey shell; much like the traffic cameras seen on our motorways at present.

But despite these stealth cameras forming part of the Highway Agency’s plans to continue their expansion of creating “smart” motorways, including various techniques to ease the flow of traffic on the UK’s busiest networks, many motoring organisations have not exactly welcomed the news. Claiming they will only go on to punish drivers, rather than improve our motorways.

Naturally, this has brought up a debate on how the new cameras are just a money making scheme, especially since a recent study proved 95% of drivers regularly exceed the speed limit; allowing the agency to rake in thousands of pounds from unassuming motorists.

The pioneering digital technology in these cameras has already caught almost 700 motorists exceeding the speed limit in a period of just 2 months on the M25 in Kent, handing out at least £100 in fines and points on their licence to all drivers involved. This has since raised arguments that drivers should not be charged unless they are caught exceeding 79mph as backed by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Many are disputing whether targeting those drivers on the motorways will do more harm than good, having little effect on improving the safety of our motorways and instead dishing out punishments that many deem too extreme.

Commenting on the new stealth cameras that are to be introduced around parts of the M1, M3, M60 and M6, Dominic Clarke CEO at TyresOnTheDrive, said “The safety of our motorways could have little to do with speed and more to do with the safety of your tyres when it comes to traffic flow. Just a few millimetres of tread can be the difference between a car stopping at 31.7m and 39.5m when travelling at 50mph in wet conditions; the equivalent of two car lengths in difference.”

So maybe the solution is to use the money it is investing on creating and installing these new cameras on areas where it has been proven to increase the safety of our drivers and our roads?

Tell is what you think – what do you make of the new stealth cameras? Have you been caught by one on the M25 in the last two months? What do you think this means for future of motorway driving?

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