More People Are Speeding On Smart Motorways - Maybe Because They're Really Confusing

By Holly Brockwell on at

Speeding tickets for drivers on smart motorways are up by almost a fifth on last year, according to figures obtained by the BBC. The motorways are considered 'smart' because the speed limit changes dynamically according to traffic levels, and the hard shoulder can be opened to cars during times of heavy congestion.

British motorists seem to have a hard enough time sticking to speed limits when they're fixed and posted on big, glaring signs, so it's perhaps not surprising that shapeshifting motorways have thrown a spanner in the works. Rules to remember include not driving on the hard shoulder unless you're told to, and not to drive in lanes marked with a red X. Nonetheless, drivers did all of these things and more last year, with over 1,000 tickets issued and fines for people driving where they weren't supposed to.

The National Police Chiefs' Council is apparently considering re-education courses for people who break the rules on smart roads, since Highways England are planning to double the amount of motorways using the system. Slightly worryingly, Transport Minister Andrew Jones is simultaneously pondering letting learner drivers on the motorways, which doesn't bode particularly well when even established motorists can't seem to get their heads around the rules. Mind you, more people breaking the rules means more money in fines - maybe they're smart after all. [BBC]