Hadecs3 ‘stealth’ speed cameras said to be more cost effective.
Whether you like speed cameras or not, it seems they are here to stay. The Highways Agency has revealed a more cost effective camera known as Hadecs3, short for ‘Highways Agency digital enforcement camera system’.
Hadecs3 will replace the Hadecs2 system currently used monitor the UK’s ‘smart motorways’ ─ motorways that have a variable speed limit such as on the M1, M6 and M25. They will be painted grey instead of yellow.
The Highways Agency plans to roll out the new speed cameras across 100 miles of motorway over the next two years, with a final goal of at least 400 miles.
One of the cost effective benefits of Hadecs3 touted is that the spot-camera system can monitor multiple lanes at once, instead of one camera per lane. Each camera will be mounted on top of large poles located beside the motorway.
The Highways Agency said the new speed cameras are all about “smoothing traffic flow and increasing [motorway] capacity”, not enforcing the 70mph legal limit. It did admit, however, that police forces will be able to choose to use then for speed enforcement as they can do now.
Critics argue the grey ‘stealth’ cameras do little to convince the motorist they are more about raking in cash than safety. Fortunately, it appears the Hadecs3 system’s roadside mounting should make them easier to spot than a camera hidden behind a gantry.
In light of the Hadecs3 cameras the RAC urged the government to rethink its stance on the 80mph speed limit. “If the new HADECS3 cameras are to be used more generally we think that this will result in better adherence to speed limits,” RAC technical director David Bizley commented.
“One of the objections to an 80mph limit was that motorists would be more likely to travel at 90mph or more. But with better enforcement, it would be appropriate to revisit the 80mph motorway debate given that the majority of motorists support raising the speed limit on motorways.”
Bizley also mentioned the safety aspect. “One of the key concerns about static speed cameras is there potential to create a dangerous ‘stop start’ driving style caused by motorists suddenly slowing down when they spot them.”
The Highways Agency proposed a speed limit reduction to 60mph on a section of the M1 in January 2014 as part of a plan to improve local air quality, sparking fears the days of the 70mph limit could be numbered.