All speed cameras will be coloured yellow from October 2016 onwards to increase visibility, following a government policy review earlier this year.
The move will impact the strategic road network as local authorities are already obliged to colour all fixed speed cameras yellow or give them yellow retro-reflective sheeting under 2007 guidance.
Highways England has said it will phase out grey digital cameras, which were first introduced as part of active traffic management on the M42 in 2006, within a year.
The Government also stressed that local authorities and the police are required to publish information on the impact of speed cameras on road safety, to help the public hold authorities to account.
Edmund King, AA president, said: ‘This is a common sense move and something we have campaigned for. Our extensive AA/Populus surveys show that over 70% of drivers accept the use of speed cameras and it is important that the level of trust and transparency is maintained.
‘Cameras are most effective when drivers slow down and being visible should make them more effective. Motorways are our safest roads and having visible cameras should show that the intention is to slow traffic and safe lives rather than generate cash. Drivers will be delighted by this move.’
There are around 200 camera sites on England’s motorways, some containing multiple cameras.
Highways England have said the majority of colour changes will take place during standard renewal of units alongside other planned work to minimise the cost.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: ‘I’ve always been clear that cameras should be visible and get used for safety rather than revenue raising. This move is about applying common sense to our roads. Speed cameras should make journeys safer rather than lead to dangerous braking. I’m delighted Highways England have agreed to meet our timetable to achieve this.’
Highways England chief executive Jim O’Sullivan said: ‘While we understand speed cameras are not popular, they play a valuable role in enhancing safety, smoothing traffic flow and reducing congestion for millions of motorists who use our roads. We use cameras for safety and traffic management only when other more popular solutions like engineering are not adequate to tackle particular problems on our network.’