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Your Complete Speed Camera Guide

November 16, 2020 by in category News, Speeding with 0 and 0
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speed camera guide

There are various types of approved speed cameras actively used within the United Kingdom. Auto Express1 conducted a survey in 2018 requesting information from 36 police forces. This showed that of 2,838 speed cameras erected, only 52% of these were operational.2 Police and local councils admitted that the inactive speed cameras are left to act as a deterrent.

You can find where speed cameras are currently installed by visiting: https://www.scdb.info/en/karte/.

How do speed cameras work?

If a camera detects speeding, it takes a digital image, which will show as a minimum, the vehicle and registration plate. Depending on the type of camera, an image may also be captured of the driver. The camera records the time and date of the offence, the speed the vehicle was travelling at and the speed limit on the road.

Following that, unless the driver was stopped by police at the time of the alleged speed, the registered keeper of the vehicle must be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the police along with a request for driver’s details. The police will usually obtain your address from the DVLA record via the vehicle’s number plate.

For speeding allegations, there is a strict time limit of 14 days for the notice to be sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle.

If the vehicle has been purchased on finance, it could be that a leasing company is the registered keeper of the vehicle in which case, they will receive the notice and provide your details to the police. If you, then receive the notice after 14 days has lapsed this is not a defence to the prosecution providing that the notice was sent to the registered keeper in time.

It is also no defence if the reason the notice was not served on the correct address was due to a failure by you to update the DVLA records of the vehicle address in a timely fashion.

What are the different types of speed cameras?

There are 64 speedmeter/camera devices that have been approved by the Home Office3. The most recent update in August 2013 added 16 newly approved devices at that time to the list. The types of speed camera devices fall into the below categories with the most commonly used speed camera devices listed.

Fixed

These record the speed of the vehicle in a particular spot.

Speed CameraDescription
Digital Gatso speed cameraThe Gatsos are rear facing cameras with a flash, in order to avoid dazzling drivers. The camera takes two photos in quick succession and uses the white lines on the road to calculate speed.
Truvelo Combi speed camera and Truvelo D CameraThe Truvelo camera is forward facing. These cameras do not flash and instead rely on infrared technology, which relies on sensors in the road to detect the speed of a passing vehicle and then photograph the vehicle as it passes the white lines on the road.

The Truvelo D camera, with the D standing for Digital, can store up to 100,000 images and face both front and back. The Truvelo D camera can also detect red light offences.

HADECS speed cameraThese are usually used on motorways. They can record five lanes of traffic and use radar technology and can monitor variable speed.

Average speed

These cameras record your speed at two different points. They do not flash and instead monitor your speed over a distance, meaning slowing down before the camera will not trick the camera.

The cameras use Automatic Number Plate Recognition and infrared technology. These cameras have become increasingly common and cover at least 263 miles of road4.

Speed CameraDescription
SPECS average speed cameraThese cameras calculate the average speed between cameras which are usually 200 metres apart. They use infrared technology and can operate 24 hours a day. The cameras can track the vehicle despite lane changes meaning this will not fool the camera.
Siemans SafeZone average speed cameraThese cameras are usually located in towns and cities, surrounding schools or in town centres. They can measure speeds between 20mph and 140mph.
SpeedSpike average speed cameraThe cameras are linked to up to 1,000 other cameras in the area and can track a vehicle using GPRS and 3G. They can capture drivers from both directions.
VECTOR average speed cameraThese are traditionally used in cities. These are painted grey and monitor bus lanes, traffic lights and yellow-box junctions. However, there are some painted yellow to focus on and capture speeding around the smaller towns.

Speed and Traffic cameras

These use radar to capture a motorist’s speed, as well as monitoring traffic light offences.

Speed CameraDescription
Speed Curb camerasThese cameras take three images, two of the road and vehicle and one of the registration plates. They are thought to be the tallest5 speed camera model on UK roads. They rely on sensors one metre apart in the road to calculate the speed.
REDFLEX speed cameraThe REDFLEXred monitors traffic light offences, while the REDFLEXspeed monitors up to 6 lanes of traffic on the motorway.
Red Guard camerasRed Guard digital cameras are primarily used for traffic light offences and can also be used for detection of speeding offences.
Bus Lane Enforcement CameraThese cameras are used by councils to catch motorists driving in designated bus lanes. These cameras are able to take two photographs of the vehicle, one from the front and one from the back, driving in the marked bus lane on the road.

Mobile speed cameras

These are parked up sitting in random locations with equipment like mini Gastsos, laser guns or handheld radar equipment.

Speed CameraDescription
Long Rangers mobile speed camerasThis device can capture drivers from 1km away making it the longest distance speed enforcer on the roads. It can also record drivers not wearing seatbelts or drivers using mobile phones.
DS2 mobile speed camerasThese devices can be parked up at the roadside and left unmanned to capture speed offences.
Mobile speed cameraThese are hidden inside traffic vehicles, manned by an individual to capture speeding offences. They are commonly seen at the roadside at accident prone areas.
ProVidaProVida is a digital surveillance camera (Visual Average Speed Computer and Recorder) that can be used in vehicles without an in-car computer system and whilst the car is stationary and moving.
Handheld Laser DevicesThere are several different makes and models to these types of devices, such as the LTI.20.20 Truspeed DC, Lastec Ranger, Truvelo’s handheld Falcon cordless and LaserWitness. These devices all use lasers to lock onto a moving vehicle and digitally calculate the speed.

Can extreme speed beat a speed camera?

The MythBusters tested this hypothesis by testing a “normal family car”, a Lamborghini and a specialised jet engine vehicle nicknamed “the Beast”. The beast, with its jet engine could reach speeds of up to 300mph.

The Beast hit a speed of 245mph and managed to pass the camera undetected. On the second attempt, the speed camera was modified to consider the extreme speed, but still failed to picture the vehicle and issue a ticket. The MythBusters further tested a “normal family car” and a Lamborghini at maximum speeds but both these vehicles were captured by speed cameras. The MythBusters concluded that it is highly unlikely that a road safe vehicle can beat a speed camera with extreme speed.6

As technology advances, what is next for speed camera devices?

Warwickshire Police have recently purchased a new “next generation” speed camera, the TruCam device which can register any vehicle and record the details.7 It is a handheld device that can be operated by both Police Officers and PCSO’s. One distinguishing feature of the device is that it can target a single vehicle or a two wheeled vehicle in multi-lane traffic and calculate the vehicles speed. The device produces both a video and still images of the offence. Furthermore, the device can also record the make and model of the vehicle as well as the vehicle’s registrate plate. Stroud Police stated on Twitter:8

“Several of our PCSOs have been trained today on a new speed camera. Trucam uses video to record offences so there is no need to stop vehicles to issue a ticket on site. Tickets are posted to drivers cutting down admin & enabling our PCSOs to enforce limits too.”Stroud Police
“The new equipment is very portable and this means officers can easily set up anti speeding operations on hot spot routes identified by the force, with the added benefit that officers can be more mobile and responsive to changing demands9Inspector Jem Mountford

It can be difficult to defend an allegation of speeding, as the prosecution will usually have evidence from the camera, either by video footage or photographic evidence, that the vehicle was driving in excess of the speed limit. However, it is of course possible and in February 2020 the case of Director of Public Prosecutions v Marrable, Mr Marrable was a High Court authority confirming this.

Mr Marrable was able to provide the court with compelling evidence which detailed his speed of 53-54mph at the time the TruCam device registered his speed at 72mph in a 50mph zone.

The Magistrates were advised that the police device was approved, calibrated, and operating correctly, whilst Mr Marrable’s GPS tracker was not. The Magistrates’ acquitted Mr Marrable on the basis that the GPS Tracker provided sufficient doubt as to the correct speed.

The Prosecution appealed this decision, as is their legal right, to the High Court. The High Court agreed with the decision from the Magistrates stating that the decision was not irrational or perverse, as it is a matter for the courts to weigh up the evidence which caused reasonable doubt as to the true speed.

Conclusion

The main functions of a speed camera are to enforce speed limits and improve safety on the roads. The cameras are, however, machines which can malfunction, or require upgrades as time passes and are capable of being challenged.

If you have received a speeding ticket that you wish to dispute, or require assistance in pleading guilty, please call the Geoffrey Miller Team for advice.

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