Speed cameras – the bane of all road users, or a life-saving deterrent?
The answer: probably a bit of both.
This might be why there are so many different attitudes towards them. While some motorists treat them with respect, slowing right down when they know one is in the vicinity, others treat them as an obstacle to be overcome, something to be evaded or tested. Whichever camp you fall into, you’re probably aware that there is plenty of misinformation regarding speed cameras in circulation.
And, luckily, we’re here to debunk some of it! Read on to find out whether some of the most common speed camera myths are true or false.
It’s in fact true that a number of speed cameras around the UK are switched off. This is backed up by a Brake spokesperson who said the following: “Various Freedom of Information requests have revealed that some speed cameras are not fully operational in the UK”.
However, just because some are switched off, this doesn’t mean that you can tell which ones are and which ones aren’t. The mere presence of a speed camera should be enough to make you check your speed.
While fixed speed cameras may not be able to catch motorists on the other side of the road, mobile police cameras – namely, manually operated radar guns – can certainly do this. What’s more, you never know where a police officer with a radar gun will set up, so it’s vital that you exercise caution.
Yes, it’s true that speed cameras will not always flash when they catch you speeding. This is simply because there are a variety of different types of speed cameras in operation throughout the UK, some of which don’t flash. The most common speed camera in the UK, the Gatsometer BV camera (which looks like a yellow box), will always flash when you are caught speeding, so bear this in mind when you are out on the roads.
For a long time, speed cameras weren’t able to detect drivers on the phone. This is because the most common speed cameras on the roads would catch an image of the rear of the vehicle, rather than the front.
However, as of 2019, new speed cameras have been introduced. Dubbed ‘yellow vultures’, these cameras can catch motorists who are smoking, eating, or on the phone. They are more discreet than Gatso cameras and are positioned to face oncoming traffic. They are also said to be just as effective in the night as they are in the day. The high definition imagery has even been said to be able to tell if you aren’t wearing a seatbelt. If you are caught on the phone by a yellow vulture, you will be fined £200 and given six penalty points.
While there is continued work being done to make sure that all speed cameras in the UK are yellow, it’s not a legal requirement. So, the next time you spot a grey speed camera while out on the road, don’t think this will invalidate any speeding ticket issued!
This isn’t true. While some motorists seem unsure when it comes to tackling average speed cameras on motorways, they certainly work. A spokesperson from Brake has said the following on the matter:
“Average speed cameras are an effective way to prevent dangerous driver behaviour. They are particularly beneficial as they enforce limits over a longer stretch of road, preventing law-breaking drivers from being able to speed up again immediately after passing a camera”.
If you are caught by a speed camera driving over the speed limit, then you must be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 14 days. The notice will be sent to the individual the vehicle is registered to and if it doesn’t arrive within two weeks, the ticket is not valid.
The law states that a driver can receive a speeding ticket as soon as they exceed the speed limit on a road, even if that is only by 1mph. However, the guidance provided by the NPCC (National Police Chiefs Council, formally ACPO, Association of Chief Police Officers) suggests that officers do not seek prosecution of a driver until they have exceeded the speed limit by 10%.
Regardless of what a speed camera can or can’t do, it’s important to ensure that you drive carefully and keep your car in good working order. The latter, we can help with. At Tyres Northampton, we are proud to offer superb quality tyres at excellent prices for a wide range of vehicles, from sports cars to 4x4s. If you’re worried about the damage your vehicle could be doing to the environment, take your vehicle to our trusty team and we’ll make sure it’s running at optimal efficiency. On top of that, our qualified technicians can offer additional services such as wheel alignment, brakes and exhausts.