In 1991, the first speed camera was installed on the M40. Since then, they have expanded to nearly every main road across Britain so it’s no wonder there are lots of rumours about them! But do motorists really know the truth about speed cameras? Here we answer some of the most common speed camera myths!

Not all speed cameras are switched on- TRUE

Although the Freedom of Information Act has revealed that this is indeed true, there is no way to know which ones are switched on and which ones are not! Some speed cameras are there simply as a deterrent and work to slow down drivers.

You have to be going more than 10% over the speed limit plus 2mph to get caught – FALSE… (kind of!)

The law says that you can receive a speeding ticket at 1mph over the speed limit, therefore, at 1mph over the speed limit a camera could trigger!  However, the police rarely prosecute a driver unless they are 10% plus 2mph over the speed limit.

If you drive really fast through a speed camera you won’t get caught – FALSE

No matter how fast you drive above the speed limit you will get caught!

Speed cameras must be painted yellow – FALSE

This is untrue.  Although the government wants all speed cameras painted yellow, until that happens a grey speed camera will still issue you with a valid speeding ticket!

You must be notified within a certain amount of time for a penalty to be valid – TRUE

A driver caught by the speed camera MUST be notified by the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) within 14 days of setting off the camera, however, there are exceptions to this, for example if you moved address and the NIP went to your old address or the police could not have reasonably found the information to send the NIP to you within 14 days.

You can request a speed awareness course instead of taking the penalty points – FALSE

You can only choose to attend a Speed Awareness Course if one is offered to you by the police.  And these are only offered if you haven’t been convicted of any other speeding offences in the past three years and you’ve been caught driving over 10% plus 2mph of the limit, but below 10% plus 9mph.

Average speed cameras don’t work – FALSE

These work by using an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system to record a vehicle’s front number plate at each fixed camera site. As the distance is known between these sites, the average speed can be calculated by dividing this by the time taken to travel between two points.

If you take a speed awareness course, you don’t have to declare it on your insurance – FALSE

According to the road safety charity, Brake, ‘Drivers who fail to reveal that they have undertaken a speed awareness course, who then later make a claim to their insurance provider, may find that their policy is invalid. Information on whether a driver has taken a speed awareness course is held by local police forces.’

You can even get caught on a bicycle or horse – FALSE

According to Brake, whilst it is unlikely that a cyclist, or other road users on non-motorised transport would be able to reach the necessary speeds to be above the limit, the law holds that legislation around speed limits covers only motor or mechanically propelled vehicles

Speed cameras are there to try and keep our roads as safe as possible for everyone!  Stick to the speed limits and the cameras won’t catch you out!



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