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Average speed cameras explained

Since their introduction on UK roads in Nottingham average speed camera usage in the UK has grown exponentially. The first average speed check cameras named SPECS appeared on the UKs roads in 2000. More recently in 2014 a new average speed camera has been developed by the same company behind SPECS. This new camera system is named VECTOR.

Although the first SPECS average speed check zones were deployed on residential roads circling and crossing Nottingham, their usage has been far more common and synonymous as temporary speed cameras throughout sections of the UK motorway network during roadwork's. However, this trend has been changing in more recent years since the introduction of the VECTOR average speed camera system as more and more councils now use average speed cameras as permanent fixtures on lower speed limit roads. For example, in Nottingham, where average cameras were first installed and the trialed, there are now eighteen roads covered by SPECS cameras including dual-cariageway, urban and rural roads.

The map below depicts the UK's five longest average speed check routes in 2016 - these routes includes both VECTOR and SPECS average speed cameras.

Map depicts the UK's five longest average speed check routes in 2016


How do average speed cameras work?

Each average speed camera system, whether it be SPECS or VECTOR camera system consists of a number of video cameras linked either to a remote enforcement cabinet or, with SPECS3 systems, directly to the police enforcement office. Number plates are read via ANPR as vehicles pass through the fields of view of each camera and the average speed of the vehicle is calculated between any two cameras. If this exceeds the Police threshold a NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) letter is created and sent to the keeper of the vehicle.

“Driving habits have been affected within the SPECS zones with a far greater level of compliance than expected. There is a more even traffic flow within SPECS Speed Controlled Zones, and it has almost removed the dash between major junctions.” Nottinghamshire Safety Camera Partnership

 


No film

Unlike some other fixed UK speed cameras SPECS and VECTOR average speed cameras don't use film so there is no limit to the number of incriminating motorists it can help to prosecute. Your number plate, date and time stamp are stored by each average speed camera and then if your average speed between the cameras is above the speed limit you will automatically be issued a speeding fine.


Average speed camera installations

The very first SPECS average speed check systems were installed on Nuthall Road (A610) and Western Boulevard (A6514), Nottingham in July 2000.

Before SPECS average speed camera system was installed, Nuthall Road and Western Boulevard had the worst Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) figures in the county. Nottingham wanted to create ‘speed control zones’ rather than target individual accident black spots, so spot speed cameras were not considered appropriate for these key routes into the city centre.

The table below highlights the percentage change of those killed or seriously injured before and after SPECS average speed cameras were installed on selected roads in Nottingham.


Average Speed Cameras Questions and Answers

To read a comprehensive range of average speed cameras questions and answers please click here.


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.

It cannot be detected by radar and laser speed camera detectors - you will need a GPS speed camera detector.


Speed camera alerts as you drive

What's your view and experiences with average speed cameras? Tell us here.

Did you know you can be alerted to where VECTOR 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: 21st February 2018