Speedsters caught on A23 in crackdown

40 mph average speed section on the A23 due to road improvements
40 mph average speed section on the A23 due to road improvements

One vehicle has been caught on camera 13 times in a month for breaking the new 40mph speed limit on the A23 at Handcross Hill, with 233 vehicles exceeding the restriction more than once.

The highest speed recorded was 82mph in a four-week period covering September 23 to October 23.

However, data from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership shows that just 0.1 per cent of motorists have violated the limit.

Overall, the 40mph restriction is being obeyed by 99.9 per cent of drivers as they approach and pass through 2.5 miles of widening works being co-ordinated by the Highways Agency.

Speed Cameras were installed in July this year and after an extensive period of testing, they were activated on September 23.

During the first month of operation, 2,536 speeding motorists were detected and police officers say 46 have been sent directly to prosecution for “extensive breaches” of the limit.

A total of 826 motorists have received conditional offers allowing them to pay a fixed penalty instead of going to court and 1,664 have been given the opportunity to attend a speed awareness course.

Phil Henty, operations manager for the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, said: “With approximately 70,000 vehicles using the A23 every day, the latest figures demonstrate overwhelmingly that the vast majority of drivers recognise the need for and are complying with the lowered limit.”

The 40mph restriction applies 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will remain in force until the end of the improvements, which are scheduled to end in autumn 2014.

Highways Agency project leader Chris Bacon said: “The speed limit is essential in helping us to safely keep two lanes in each direction open to traffic while we carry out these vital improvements.”