As reported in the Lancashire Evening Post this week, a 10 second period of grace on smart motorways for the purposes of speed enforcement has been confirmed by Highways England.

See our guidance on the penalties for speeding on our Motoring law pages.

Smart motorways are proving controversial and those who routinely use the M6, M60, M62 or M63 motorways in the North West will be all too familiar with them and the potential dangers that they pose.

Speed limits posted with a red circle around them on overhead gantries on motorways are not merely advisory, they are enforced by static cameras and we have seen a number of people prosecuted for breaking these limits.  

Police forces in the North West also allow motorists some leeway and enforcement policies start at the 10% plus 2 miles an hour point.  This means that if a temporary 50mph speed limit is in force on a North West motorway then prosecutions start for those driving at 57mph and above.

The intention behind allowing motorists 10 seconds of grace before enforcement commences is to stop people from “panic braking” and causing difficulties behind them.  If you are driving on a smart motorway and the speed limit changes just in front of you then please consider what is behind you.  It may be safer simply to ease off the accelerator and bring your speed down more slowly than braking hard in heavy traffic.

Should you find yourself prosecuted for driving at excess speed on a smart motorway then please contact us for straightforward advice.  Expert representation is available if required.