Traffic Light Speed/Camera explained

Traffic light cameras are triggered either by using ground loops that are cut into road surface or radar technology. When using loops, as the traffic lights turn red the system becomes active, any vehicle passing over the sensor in the road after this time is then photographed. Radar based traffic light cameras work in the same manner as fixed Gatso speed cameras.

A news story that appeared in the Daily Mail newspaper reported that the Home Office plan to turn over 1,000 traffic light cameras into speed cameras. "More than 1,000 traffic-cameras used to catch drivers jumping red lights are to converted so they can also trap speeders".

The traffic light camera was originally used to measure red light offences. Nowadays the camera can also be used in combination with speed measurement, similar to that of a Gatso speed camera. So you could end with a speeding offence as well as a traffic light offence, if you go through a red light camera!

As well as Gatsometer traffic light cameras there is a new truvelo speed camera that can also operate as a red light speed camera. Click here to read more.

Traffic Light Camera Questions and Answers

Question: A faulty red light camera on Shoot Up Hill at the intersection with Mill Lane facing direction of Maida Vale ie facing away from Cricklewood had flashed about ten times. I wasn't even passing the street light and actually came off Mill Lane. The camera flashed myself as well as others. I wondered who I could report this to before getting any ticket. I contacted the MET office and they couldn't help and neither could TFL. I doubt it's Brent Council as they have nothing on their website. The issue that concerns me is that people collecting debts are sometimes compensated or have targets to meet for collections. I'm worried about being sent a fine and being told the camera was not faulty. I have a receipt from a store which proves the direction and route I took but still I would like to report it to avoid any issues. This was on the 28th July 2016 at about 19:20. Can you help me by providing me details of whom I need to get in contact with?

Answer: We don't know who you should or could contact. We would say contact the MET Police, but you've already contacted them. If you were to receive a red light driving offence through the post, photographic evidence would also be recorded and available to you.

Question: I have often wondered about this type of incident. I am at a fairly straight forward crossroads or junction controlled by traffic lights and I am held by the red light at the front of the traffic queue. An emergency vehicle (let us say a fire engine) pulls up behind me with blue lights flashing and sirens on in full sound. The fire engine cannot navigate around me as it is a tight junction and I am under pressure to break the red light to allow the fire engine to pass, all other traffic has given way for me to do so, I do so and I get flashed by the red light camera. By default do I get nicked? Is it still my responsibility to prove my innocence? Has anybody else out there had to deal with this type of situation and if so, what happened?

Answer: We don't know the answer to your question. Has another UK motorist encountered the same incidence on a set of traffic lights enforced by a red light camera? If so, please contact us and tell us your experience and the answer to the question above.

Answer from a UK motorist: You asked about what happens if a Fire Engine etc comes and there is a red light camera.. Do you move out the way or not...?

My friend got points for just about going over the line to let though an Ambulance!!

So NO!! You can't go slightly over the white line to let though some blue lights. Or you will end up 3 points richer and £100 fine :( :( :(

Points and Penalties

The absolute minimum penalty for being caught speeding on the UK's roads increased 66.7% in July 2013 from £60 to £100 fine. A minimum of 3 penalty points will also be added to your licence.

However, depending on the road speed limit and your actual recorded speed in the speeding offence a court summons may be generated in place of the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) through the post. For more information click here.

Red light camera locations

What's your view and experiences with red light traffic cameras? Tell us here.

Want to know where the UK's traffic light speed cameras are as you drive? Here at we have a UK database of speed camera locations. This database also includes Gatso, SpeedCurb, Truvelo, Truvelo D-Cam, Peek, SPECS cameras and more. To read more about the speed camera types click here.

Speed camera alerts as you drive

Did you know you can be alerted to where Traffic Lighter Cameras and other speed cameras are along UK roads via in car devices? These systems include dedicated speed camera detectors, sat navs with speed camera locations and various apps for smartphones. To read more view our buyers guide which talks you through the various features and different technology the different systems use. We also have dedicated reviews for each product with user comments.

We also sell a range of speed camera detectors which you can browse via our online shop. We only stock systems that we consider will give you the best, most accurate, reliable and frequently updated speed camera databases. So whether you are a motorist, truck driver or caravanist you can rest assured you have the best speed camera warning system.

Click here to visit our online detector shop.

Last updated: 2nd August 2016