Speed Camera FAQ's

Do you have a burning question regarding UK speed cameras? The speed camera FAQ's answers the most commonly asked questions:

I was driving on the A1 going towards Berwick upon Tweed when the GATSO speed Camera in the other direction flashed. I have received a fixed penalty notice. Is this correct?

I wanted to ask if a yellow speed camera affects the opposite lane to the lane where the yellow box is by and has markings on. So if I am driving in the opposite lane as oncoming traffic and there is no box positioned next to my lane and nor any speed markings, will the speed box affect my lane? Or only the lane it is next to and has markings on.

Does a police Officer have to physically issue you a speeding ticket from a hand held device, or can it be issued by post?

The allowance for speeding is 10%. e.g. which would be 66mph on a 60mph. Would an average speed camera zone record this as speeding?

Can temporary overhead speed cameras catch you on either side of the road? I was travelling northbound but caught by a southbound camera.

A motorbike went through lights before me, speeding. Moments after, the camera flashed as I went through (not speeding). I am concerned that it may be me who is fined despite the fact that it wasn't actually me who was speeding.

I just went through a speed camera at 30mph, the speed limit is 40mph, however the camera flashed, is this normal?

Are fixed speed cameras e.g. Gatso, always mounted on the the side of the road on which they want to catch the traffic?

Do all speed cameras rear face, i.e. they catch vehicles from behind?

After being detected by a SPECS cameras and you brake, can your average speed still be detected?

Do many motorists get caught speeding each year?

How many speed cameras are on UK roads?

How many different types of speed cameras are currently in use in the UK?

How do the different UK speed cameras work?

Which UK speed camera has caught the most motorists?

Do you have a speed camera related question? Go to our contact page and make your comment or ask your question today.

If you would like to read comments from UK motorists relating to speed cameras click here.

Learn more the different types of speed cameras such as Gatso, Truvelo, SPECS, Hadecs3 and more via our Speed Camera Guide.

Want alerts to speed cameras? Don't know where to start? Want some independent help and advice? Then view the Speed Camera Detector Buyer's Guide or see our Speed Camera Detector FAQ's.



Speed Camera Answers:

I was driving on the A1 going towards Berwick upon Tweed when the GATSO speed Camera in the other direction flashed. I have received a fixed penalty notice. Is this correct?

Gatos speed cameras use two methods to capture and record speeding motorists.

The first is via the speed cameras technology, which in the case of Gatso is via radar. When a motorist/vehicle passes the camera too fast the speed camera is set off or triggered to take the necessary photo(s).

The second is to use the white markings on the road. In the case of a Gatso camera two photos in quick succession are taken. Using the white markings on the road, the vehicles speed can also be calculated.

So evidence would be available proving or disproving that you were speeding at the time you passed the Gatso speed camera on the A1 near Berwick-Upon-Tweed.

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I wanted to ask if a yellow speed camera affects the opposite lane to the lane where the yellow box is by and has markings on. So if I am driving in the opposite lane as oncoming traffic and there is no box positioned next to my lane and nor any speed markings, will the speed box affect my lane? Or only the lane it is next to and has markings on.

It all depends on the type of speed camera in use, however in general fixed speed cameras such as Gatso and Truvelo are calibrated for vehicles travelling in ONE direction of travel only.

Some of these cameras can be periodically turned to catch motorists travelling in opposite directions, but as a general rule these cameras cannot capture/record speeding vehicles travelling in either direction at the same time.

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Does a police Officer have to physically issue you a speeding ticket from a hand held device, or can it be issued by post?

A police officer could stop speeding motorists and issuea ticket, but more common place these days is that a NIP is sent in the post.

It's not feasible and very time consuming for the Police to stop and issue a ticket to every speeding motorist at the roadside.

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The allowance for speeding is 10%. e.g. which would be 66mph on a 60mph. Would an average speed camera zone record this as speeding?

There is evidence that the 10% plus 3mph may have been relaxed to a much lower threshold. We have heard from motorists in recent weeks who have been caught speeding at just a few miles per hour (mph) over the enforced speed limit.

In terms of the SPECS camera system you drove through, it all depends on the speed limit that the camera system has been set to enforce from e.g. 53mph in a 50mph enforced zone. This differs from SPECS zone to SPECS zone and different Police authorities.

If you have been caught speeding, a NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) is normally issued within 14 working days of the motoring offence.

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Can temporary overhead speed cameras catch you on either side of the road? I was travelling northbound but caught by a southbound camera.

Gatso speed cameras and other cameras in overhead gantries normally would only be set to capture speeding motorists in the lane below.

However, if a camera is sited on the opposite side of the road, but is configured to catch/capture speeding motorist, then yes it is possible.

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A motorbike went through lights before me, speeding. Moments after, the camera flashed as I went through (not speeding). I am concerned that it may be me who is fined despite the fact that it wasn't actually me who was speeding.

Speed cameras use two methods to capture and record speeding motorists.

The first is via the speed cameras technology, which in the case of a Gatso is radar technology. When a motorist/vehicle passes the camera too fast the speed camera is set off or triggered to take the necessary photos, which in the case of a Gatso is two.

The second is to use the white markings on the road. In the case of the Gatso two photos in quick succession are taken. Using the white markings on the road, the vehicles speed can also be calculated.

So if you were driving within the speed limit, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

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I just went through a speed camera at 30mph, the speed limit is 40mph, however the camera flashed, is this normal?

No, this is not normal. Normally a speed camera e.g. Gatso will only flash when the speed of the passing vehicle triggers the camera, by driving beyond the threshold of the camera i.e. the speed limit. The speed limit threshold can be set differently for cars versus trucks and lorries.

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Do all speed cameras rear facing, i.e. they catch vehicles from behind?

Speed cameras can be mounted on either side of the road and still capture and record speeding motorists on the opposite side of the road, as long as they are calibrated and set up to do so.

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Do all speed cameras rear face, i.e. they catch vehicles from behind?

Both rear and forward facing speed cameras exisit, it all depends on the type of speed camera and the technology they use, for example:

Gatso speed cameras are rear facing (taking a photo of the back of vehicle).
Truvelo speed cameras are forward facing (taking a photo of the front of the vehicle including the driver).

Read more about the different UK speed cameras.

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After being detected by a SPECS cameras and you brake, can your average speed still be detected?

Unlike speed cameras such as the Gatso or Truvelo that capture your speed at a fixed point. SPECS average speed camera capture your speed over a set distance e.g. 3 miles. Braking when you see a single SPECS camera will not enough to prevent you from getting caught speeding, if you were above the speed limit throughout and up to the SPECS camera.

Pictured right: Road Angel Gem+ display screen

Detectors such as the Road Angel Gem+ display on screen not only your vehicles speed, the SPECS speed camera speed limit, but also the average speed of your vehicle throughout the whole SPECS average speed zone.

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Do many motorists get caught speeding each year?

The number of fixed penalty fines issued in England and Wales has risen seven-fold from around 260,000 in 2000-2001 to 1.8 million in 2003-2004. Speed cameras are reportedly currently netting more than £20m a year profits for the Treasury. Motorists caught by the cameras have three points added to their licence and pay a £60 fixed penalty.

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How many speed cameras are on UK roads?

The number of speed cameras has now reached about 6,000 across the country, 2,500 of them being mobile speed cameras.

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How many different types of speed cameras are currently in use in the UK?

Currently there are nine different speed camera types that are in use by the Police and local government to enforce speed limits on the UK road network. Speed cameras in use are Gatso, Truvelo, SPECS, Peek, SpeedCurb, Watchman, Traffic Light, DS2 and Mobile. To read more about a specific speed camera see Camera Types.

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How do the different UK speed cameras work?

There are three main methods that UK speed cameras use to detect a speeding motorist. The first method used by Gatso and mobile cameras is to send a Laser or Radar beam at the passing vehicle. The beam is then returned back to the speed camera equipment, providing an exact speed. The second method used by Truvelo and DS2 is too use loops in the road, if the passing vehicle drives too fast over the loops, the speed camera is triggered. The third method used by SPECS is to take a photograph of all passing vehicles at point 'a', then several hundred metres along the road at point 'b' a second photograph is taken. Both photographs are date and time stamped, the speed camera equipment then calculates your average speed. To read more about a specific speed camera see Speed Camera Types.

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Which UK speed camera has caught the most motorists?

A single speed camera in Nottinghamshire has caught almost 76,000 motorists in five years. The SPECS speed camera, on the A610, has caught almost a third of the speeding drivers in the county and has resulted in £4.2m in fines. The SPECS "time-over-distance" cameras measures how long it takes to pass between two points on a road, read read more about SPECS speed cameras.

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Page last updated: 24th July 2015