DRIVERS using smart motorways have just 60 seconds to react to speed limit changes before they will be fined.

Brits need to vigilant as they could be hit with hefty penalties if they fail to change their speed on the controversial roads.

 Drivers have just a minute to react to speed limit changes before being fined


Drivers have just a minute to react to speed limit changes before being finedCredit: PA:Press Association

A recent investigation by AutoExpress has revealed smart motorway speed cameras will trigger to a new limit a minute after it appears on the signs.

The cameras will then start enforcing the new speed limit, meaning drivers need to adjust their speed almost immediately.

The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points on your licence.

But in more severe cases, you could be hit with a maximum £2,500 fine and even a driving ban.

 Brits can be hit with a maximum £2,500 fine for speeding on the motorway


Brits can be hit with a maximum £2,500 fine for speeding on the motorwayCredit: Alamy

A spokesman for Highways England told AutoExpress: “Following a change in the speed displayed by signals there is a 60-second ‘grace period’ before HADECS3 cameras start enforcement, giving time for drivers to adapt to the new mandatory speed limit, especially when speed limits are reduced due to slow-moving or queuing traffic up ahead.

“This gives drivers time to slow down and reduces the need for braking sharply.”

Last year, we revealed more than 60,000 speeding tickets had been issued on a stretch of the M1 where four people have been killed in just three years.

Shockingly, the 16-mile stretch had brought in a staggering £6.2million in fines.

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Smart motorways have come under heavy scrutiny, after a BBC program found that 38 people had died on them in the past five years.

Smart motorways use technology as a way of reducing congestion and ease the flow of traffic.

The methods include using the hard shoulder as an active traffic lane.

This means drivers who break down on the high-speed roads could be forced to sit in lanes exposed to live traffic, where other drivers are unaware the hard shoulder has been closed due to a stationary vehicle.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “If we can’t have smart motorways that are as safe, or better still safer than conventional motorways, then we should not have them at all.”

Listen to man’s 999 call moments before him and his family were hit by a lorry at 50mph on a smart motorway without hard shoulder




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