What Are Smart Motorways?

23rd July 2015

Smart motorways use technology to keep you moving at busy times. You'll see speed limits displayed in a solid red ring overhead and along the roadside.

When traffic builds up, our monitoring sensors activate lower speeds. This smooths congestion and helps prevent stop/start traffic so that you can get where you need to go, on time.

If someone breaks down we can close a lane (indicated by a red x over that lane). We will change the speed limit to slow traffic while we manage the incident. This is safer for drivers, Traffic Officers and the emergency services.

Don't be caught out

Because the speed limits on smart motorways can change, some drivers don't realise they are still legal speed limits ??? and they are getting caught out.

So we are launching our "Better watch your speed??? campaign this summer to encourage drivers to stick to the speed limits on England's smart motorway network.

Our messages

This summer we're reminding drivers of five points to remember about speed limits on smart motorways.

  • Watch your speed: you must stick to speed limits displayed in a red ring
  • On time journeys: we vary speed limits at busy times to keep the traffic flowing, keep you moving and make your journey more reliable
  • Be safe: millions use our motorways every day ??? think about how the decisions you make on your journey affect others
  • Don't risk it: speed limits on smart motorways are enforced by police and if you break the speed limit you will be prosecuted
  • Respect our road workers: do your bit to save lives ??? drive carefully, stick to the stated speed limit and keep our road workers safe.

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