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SPECS Average Speed Camera Questions and Answers

Welcome to the SpeedCamerasUK.com SPECS average speed camera Q&A page. We receive questions all the time from UK motorists relating to SPECS speed cameras and other UK speed cameras. We answer and publish these questions below. Before submitting your own question, please have a read through the SPECS average speed camera questions, as we may already have the answer to your question.

Please note: SpeedCamerasUK.com does not operate any UK speed cameras, we have no connection to UK Government, Police, etc. We are therefore unable to advise you if have been caught speeding, or the progress of a speeding offence.

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Question: Bearing in mind your answer to the motorcycle question on number plate recognition. Often there are specs cameras pointing in either direction so surely they will detect a rear number plate from the camera cover the carriage way in the opposite direction of travel?

Answer: SPECS average speed camera pointing in either or both directions are targeting the front of vehicles driving in the both directions of travel - e.g. east and westbound.

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Question: If there is five SPECS cameras down a road, how many do you have to pass over the limit to get a ticket? For example if I go through the first two at 36mph in a 30mph but then turn off the road would I get a ticket or if I went through first two at 36mph but went 27mph past the next three?

Answer: It depends which average speed cameras are paired together.

If the first two are paired together and you drive at an average speed of 36mph in a 30mph between them, then that alone will generate the NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution). NIPs are normally sent out to the vehicles registered keeper within 14 working days.

The camera pairings are only known by the Police and camera installer.

Our advice is to drive at or below the enforced road speed limit from the very first camera to the very last camera in a series of average speed cameras. That is the only way you be certain of not receiving a NIP with attached points and/or fine.

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Question: I am wondering if SPECS cameras only pick up a registration plate, or do they take a picture of the vehicle and can differentiate if a car is towing a trailer or not?

Answer: It depends on the camera set up as this will differ from location to location and Police force to Police force. However, it possible for several images to be captured by a SPECS average speed camera, these can include:

‣The complete vehicle, including road behind - so a trailer would be visible.
‣A photo of the driver of said vehicle - so there is no dispute who was driving at the time of the speeding offence.
‣The vehicles number plate.

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Question: If you brake and slow down at the last minute when passing the first camera in a series of SPECs and continue staying within the speed limit will a fine be issued or will the cameras detect you are going under the speed limit?

Answer: As long as you drive at or below the posted road speed limit e.g. 50mph between SPECS speed camera locations, then you will be complying with the law.

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Question: When passing a SPECS camera if you accelerate quickly but do not break the speed limit would the camera think you are going faster due to the ground being covered quicker without speeding?

Answer: A SPECS camera does not record your speed when passing a single camera location. It requires two or more camera points to calculate your average speed between points.

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Question: Just a quick question regarding SPECS average speed cameras. A car and/or motorbike can do 0-60mph in 2 seconds. But never went above the speed limit, would it look like you have been speeding due to covering the allocated distance quicker!

Answer: Short answer; yes.

Longer answer; if you drive or ride on average faster than the posted road speed limit between two paired SPECS camera sites then you would have broken the law and exceeded the enforced road speed limit. You can then expect to receive a speeding ticket through the post.

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Question: I was driving along a section of the A13 over the last two days which is principally a 50mph road. Between the A406/A13 junction and Canning town there are a series of SPECS. Yesterday I was driving consistently at around 45mph, and then suddenly the speed limit dropped to 30mph on my side of the road only. Unfortunately I did not drop my speed in time and the two sets of SPECS in the 30mph zone were only 100 metres or so apart. I drove 30mph for the rest of the journey. I am worried that I will get caught for speeding now. How would everything work based on what I told you?

Answer: SPECS average speed check cameras are paired with other SPECS cameras in the enforced speed check zone. So if the speed limit within the average speed check was 30mph and you drove in excess of this speed limit between SPECS camera positions, then you have exceeded the enforced speed limit.

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Question: SPECS average speed cameras are located over each lane on motorways and dual carriageways. If I change lanes say between the first and last cameras would my car and average speed still be detected?

Answer: Yes, your vehicle average speed is recorded between two or more SPECS average speed cameras positions. Changing lanes between will have no bearing as SPECS cameras are not paired on Individual lanes, but between different sets of SPECS cameras.

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Question: Just a quick question regarding specs camera. Today I passed 7 SPECS cameras, if my average speed was above the speed limit shown past each camera would I get a ticket for every camera apart from the first camera? Meaning I could potentially get a £600 fine and loss of licence (18 points) over a 4 mile stretch.

Answer: SPECS average speed cameras are not normally paired between each and every camera. Average cameras are often paired between say the second and last camera in the sequence. Of course the actual pairings will ONLY be known by the camera operator and/or Police authority. I certainly would be very surprised to hear that you or any motorist was prosecuted multiple times at a single SPECS average speed check zone. If however the average speed check zone ends and then starts again within the 4 mile stretch and thus becoming a new SPECS speed check, then in this instance you may be prosecuted more than once.

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Question: Are the SPECS average speed cameras the most common form of the average speed cameras? Are there any speed cameras these detectors do not detect?

Answer: SPECS average speed cameras are often used in roadwork's on motorways. However a new alternative average speed camera named VECTOR are now popping up across the country and increasingly in urban areas too. So average speed cameras are on the increase and in time VECTOR cameras may out number SPECS cameras?

A GPS based speed camera detector such as the Snooper 4 ZERO Elite BT features a GPS database of fixed and mobile speed camera locations. As long as the location is in the GPS database, you will receive advanced warning. If they have just been installed and are not in an updated database, then they will be completely undetectable.

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Question: I have a question about SPECS I understand how they work, that they monitor average speed across part of the road and those who go above get a ticket. My question is does the threshold of 10% + 1mph still apply like they do for most cameras, so for example in a 50mph zone the threshold would be anyone traveling 56mph would get a ticket, or is it anyone who's average speed was over 50mph exactly ?

Answer: I'm afraid we don't have the answer to your question. It will only be known by the camera operator(s).

While the ACPO guidelines say 10% + 2mph, we have had reports from motorists that the threshold with some Police forces is much lower than that. So it would very much depend on the Police force where the camera system is located and will ONLY been known by them.

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Question: I've looked everywhere I can't believe no one has asked this question: the average speed check cameras SPECS and even new VECTOR etc, that are now popping up in many locations across London with more to come no doubt. Do they only take images of the front of the vehicle. The front number plate not rear. It seems that way to me. So if say someone is riding a motorcycle which does not require a front facing number plate; are they unable to be prosecuted by these average speed cameras?

Answer: Motorcyclists number plate is not recorded via a forward facing Truvelo, Truvelo D-Cam, VECTOR or SPECS speed camera system.

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Question: I often travel along various stretches of the M1 that currently have an average speed check (50mph). I of course travel at 50mph judged by my sat nav and in-car speedometer but am regularly overtaken by other cars going significantly faster. How can this be? Are they perhaps counting on the % leniency? I can't believe that ALL of these people are receiving fines otherwise surely there would be fewer people doing it.

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Question: How are the timing clocks synchronised in SPECS average speed cameras. If camera 1, 2, 3, and 4 positioned monitoring a 20 mile stretch of carriageway have clocks set at different times when monitoring traffic average speed surely this would provide incorrect speed results over the measured distance between each camera section. If camera clocks were not synchronised this could mean that drivers average speed is more than it actually is and issue a speeding ticket.

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Question: What standards are your SPEC's cameras taking images of vehicles to? Are they in conformance with BS ISO 16505:2015?

Answer: We don't have the foggiest. Your best bet would be to contract either your local Police/Authority or the manufacturer of the SPECS average speed check cameras.

SpeedCamerasUK.com is not connected with any UK Police or other local authority. We don't run, install or operate any speed camera - we just list where they are and information about them.

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Question: On several motorway and trunk roads, with Specs Cameras and with the speed limit signs all along the road. I have on many occasions, been overtaken by vehicles at very high speed, many at the legal limit on a motorway. I have had lorries almost touching my rear bumper at 40mph or 50mph as the limit was showing, flashing lights and blowing horns. Surely if the cameras were actually working units lorries would know and keep to the speed limit? It appears to me that regular road users have found that no summons have been issued and that there is no need to follow speed limit signs, and cameras are dummies. Have you had this query before?

Answer: No, this is the first we've heard of this. Although I can say that not all motorists understand how SPECS average speed cameras work. A lot of motorists wrongly think that it's only at the camera point that you need to be driving at the speed limit, which is far from the reality. It could be that it's known that the cameras aren't (yet) live, but I'd personally not chance it and stick to the posted speed limit on the road.

From our terms of use page we say "Average speed camera zones: these cameras check your speed over several miles and often between several cameras. It is no good slowing down at each camera and then speeding up and overtaking every other car and slowing down at the next camera. If you have driven at 70mph in any part of an average speed zone, despite slowing to 30, 40 or 50mph for a camera, then it is highly likely that you will be prosecuted."

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Question: Roadwork's on the A14 on the Histon to Milton area. The first SPECS average speed camera is sat in the 50mph zone by the Histon exit and then the second is then set on the Milton Exit which is then a 70mph road. If a car is doing 60mph, then 50mph then it goes to 70mph, will the speed cameras catch the car for speeding even though the signs state 50mph then the national speed limit? Will it do an average speed check and then determine the average speed the car was travelling?

Answer: SPECS average speed check zones are controlled by a single speed limit e.g. 50mph throughout the complete section of road covered by the overhead cameras.

The A14 normally has a speed limit of 70mph, however during the current roadwork's it has been reported to us that the speed limit has been reduced to 50mph. Therefore the average speed you need to maintain to be within the correct speed limit is 50mph. If as you say you've seen a national speed limit, this could be a) in error i.e. not covered up, or b) after the 50mph SPECS controlled average speed check zone ends.

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Question: This morning I joined from the slip road onto A180 and went through the last average speed camera - slightly over the limit. However I didn't drive through the two average speed cameras before it (they are on the stretch of road prior to the slip road). Do you have to drive through all three average speed cameras to be caught speeding or will I be fined for going through only one of the SPECS average cameras too fast?

Answer: SPECS average speed cameras need to be paired with at least two cameras. If you only drove through a single SPECS camera, then there will be no average speed data captured/available for your vehicle.

Normally though SPECS cameras are positioned at all entrance and exit slip roads and then at the end of the average speed enforced zone, to record your vehicles average speed through the zone. Could you have missed a SPECS camera?

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Last updated: 17th February 2023