Motorists will be fined for driving above 70mph on 'smart' M1 in Yorkshire

Drivers have been warned that they will be caught and fined by speed cameras at all times of the day on the new smart M1.

They will be issued with fines for travelling above the 70mph limit on the M1, 24 hours a day.

The fines can be issued even where there is no variable speed limit in place on the motorway as police warn they are intent on 'catching speeders'.

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Thousands of motorists were caught out by the speed cameras last year with the Derby Telegraph reporting the fastest one clocked at 128mph.

The M1 in Sheffield, between junctions 32 and 35A, was officially converted into a 'smart' motorway in March last year, following months of engineering. There is now an extra lane on the motorway with the hard shoulder being used for traffic. There is also more technology in place to manage traffic, with electronic signs in place to close lanes or change speed limits when needed.

But, drivers who now go over 70mph on the M1 when the road is clear will also be penalised even where there is no limit signposted above. Highways England says the changes will reduce delays on the 18-mile stretch of motorway, which is used by more than 110,000 vehicles each day.

Darren Roberts, manager of the Casualty Reduction Enforcement Support Team (CREST) for Derbyshire Police said prosecuting more people will held to stop speeders.

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"The cameras are not there to generate money. They are there to catch speeders, get reckless drivers off the roads and ultimately lead to a reduction in collisions.

“To all the speeders out there: imagine if you had to knock on the door of a victim’s family to tell them their loved one had died because of your reckless driving. It’s just not worth the risk. Speeding can never be justified. Why put lives on the line to arrive a few minutes early?”

The standard fine for being caught speeding is £100 and three points. Traffic flow on the smart motorway is controlled by overhead gantries which change speed from the national limit down to 30mph if there's traffic ahead.