New smart motorway cameras will make an extra £600,000-a-year each in fines

Vehicles on the 13.4-mile long M3 "smart" motorway near London. (PA)

New smart motorway cameras being installed across Britain are expected to make an extra £600,000-a-year each in fines.

Divers will be penalised with fines of up to £100 and three penalty points if they are caught speeding by the technology.

According to The Sun, police chiefs are expecting such a surge in the number of fines handed out that they are recruiting more staff to deal with the workload.

Thames Valley Police is reportedly taking on an extra 15 civilians to process all the fines from new “smart” sections of the M4 and M40, which are set to be switched on later this year.

The M4 was one of the first roads in England to be converted into a smart motorway. (PA)

A report by Thames Valley police said: “It is anticipated that the M40 and M4 will each capture 30,000 infringements per year."

The report added it is expected most of the fines will be caught by the automatic cameras for breaking the speed limit or straying into lanes that have been temporarily closed.

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There are already more than 200 miles of smart motorway in the UK, including London, Birmingham and the North.

Smart sections use variable speed limits and the hard shoulder as an extra lane during busy periods to control traffic and improve safety.

Average speed cameras in position on the M3 motorway in Hampshire. (PA)

But their introduction has led to complaints that drivers will be fined too heavily under the new system.

AA president Edmund King said: “If more resources were put into making the gantry signs accurate and the variable speeds right for the conditions, you might not need more resources for enforcement.

“Accurate technology and more consistent and appropriate speed limits would actually reduce the levels of fines.

“Any 'income' from fines should go into making these roads safer by sorting technology and doubling the number of lay-bys.”

A Highways England spokesman said: “There are around 150 speed camera sites on smart motorways; normally one between each junction.

“They are clearly signed and are bright yellow for visibility. The vast majority of drivers on smart motorways drive within the speed limit.”

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