A motorist travelling at more than twice the speed limit was among more than 6,400 drivers caught racing through major roadworks in just three months.

Thousands of motorists have been caught exceeding the 40mph limit on the A23 between Handcross and Warninglid since engineering work started in October.

One driver was caught travelling at 90mph along the two and half mile stretch late at night in December.

So far, misbehaving motorists have paid 947 fines at a cost of more than £56,000, with all income raised going to the Treasury.

Hundreds more will be issued with their fines once paperwork and checks have been completed to ensure that the right people are being punished.

At the current rate, more than £1million of fines could be collected during the duration of the works, which are scheduled to end in autumn 2014.

There have also been 492 motorists who have attended speed awareness courses, with more than a thousand in the process of being booked in for their course.

Worst offenders

Most motorists caught travelling at between 46mph and 53mph are offered a speed awareness course, while drivers caught travelling between 54mph and 65mph are given an automatic offer of £60 fine and three penalty points or the opportunity to challenge the matter in court.

The worst offenders, who are caught travelling at more than 65mph, will appear in court, although the first of these offenders have yet to appear before a magistrate.

The average speed cameras, installed and operated by Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, are being used in the county for the first time.

They use cameras that scan a vehicle’s number plate and record its details as it enters and exits the covered zone.

Lives at risk

Phil Henty, the operations manager for Sussex Safer Roads Partnership, said the average speed cameras were having a “significant effect” on speeds through the roadworks.

He said: “When the scheme was first put in place, 1 in 100 vehicles were driving at over 40mph.

“This has now dropped to 1 in 1,000 – and it appears that numbers are still falling.

“There are still a few road users who think that it is acceptable to drive in excess of the speed limit.

“These people are putting themselves and others at risk.”

See the latest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Follow @brightonargus

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - facebook.com/southerndailyecho Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+