Do you have a burning question regarding UK speed cameras? The speed camera FAQ's answers the most commonly asked questions.
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?
What are the benefits of using a speed camera detector?
Are speed camera detectors legal to use in the UK?
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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.
The number of speed cameras has now reached about 6,000 across the country, 2,500 of them being mobile speed cameras.
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.
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.
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.
More and more motorists are discovering the benefits of driving with a speed camera detector. The main benefit being advanced warnings of speed cameras in the road ahead and avoiding points, fines and potential loss of a driving licence. In addition GPS based systems also provide the driver with spoken voice alerts and speed limits at camera sites. So if driving in an unfamiliar area the driver knows what speed his vehicle needs to be doing to drive within the law and avoid a speeding conviction. For more information regarding speed camera detectors see Speed Camera Detector Buyer's Guide.
More recently the Government, through the Road Safety Bill, is reviewing the use of speed camera detectors and their technologies in the UK. The Road Safety Bill looks to ban speed camera jammers and detectors.
To fully understand the implications of the bill first you need to understand the different types of speed camera detectors that are available in the UK. There are currently three different technologies that a speed camera detector could utilise to detect and warn of an approaching speed camera. Speed camera detectors can use Radar detection, Laser detection and GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) a combination of one, two or all three of the technologies can be used. As a Radar detector warns by detecting a camera in the road ahead. Legality of these systems are under review, as they potentially allow a motorist to drive above the speed limit without facing prosecution through an in active road side speed camera. GPS systems such as the Origin b2 warn via a national database of speed camera locations, whether the road side speed camera contains operational equipment or is simply empty.
The following is a extract from the Department for Transport (DFT) website "The Government will not be prohibiting those devices that rely on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to warn drivers of published camera sites or posted speed limits, as these compliment the Government's policy to ensure that camera sites are visible and conspicuous to drivers, and so help deter excessive and inappropriate speeds on the roads." To read more about UK government policy regarding the legality of speed camera detectors see UK Law relating to speed camera radar detectors.