Caught on camera!

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Thousands of motorists driving through Bedfordshire on the M1 have been caught speeding by smart motorway cameras between junctions 10 and 13.

Since variable speed cameras were installed on the M1 in 2013 and 2014, 29,771 drivers have been caught exceeding the limit, which can drop from 70mph to speeds of just 20mph.

And with offenders charged with fines of up to £2,500 for exceeding motorway speed limits, motorists may be facing a total £74m ticket. The information comes from a Freedom of Information request from Confused.Com.

Motorists fell victim to variable speed cameras when travelling from Luton to Milton Keynes, although it seems that the road between junctions 10 and 11, travelling northbound, in particular has proven to be the biggest sting. Since variable speed cameras were installed in 2013, 18,057 drivers have been prosecuted for exceeding the limit on this stretch alone.

A total of 18,057 drivers have been caught speeding along M1 J10-11 northbound since the cameras were set up in September 2013

For M1 J12-13 northbound, 3,765 have been caught since March 2014 and on M1 J10-11 southbound, 3,694 have been caught since November 2013.

On the M1 J12-13 southbound, 4,255 have been caught since March 2014.

Variable speed cameras are used on motorways to enforce temporary speed limits in order to reduce congestion and improve safety during poor driving conditions.

Nationally one in 20 (6%) motorists have been caught speeding in these zones, with eight in 10 (78%) of these drivers claiming they did not realise a change in speed was being enforced at the time.

Two in five (40%) drivers agree that variable speed cameras cause motorists to brake more suddenly and over a quarter (28%) say there is not enough notice before a change in speed.

Only one in 10 (10%) knew that variable cameras on UK motorways can drop to 20mph. And one in five (19%) admit they are often unsure if the speed limit is advisory or compulsory. It’s therefore, unsurprising, three in 10 (30%) feel they would benefit if more was done to raise awareness of where variable speed camera zones are located.