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Different Types of Speed Cameras to Watch out For

Added: 10 August 2017

Speed cameras are the biggest bane for many motorists and with at least 14 actively used on UK roads every day, it is as important as ever to be vigilant about your speed. While monitoring your speed is important, it is also useful to know a thing or two about speed cameras. Things like, where they're located, how they're positioned and, most of all, what types are out there, plays a huge part in reducing the regularity with which you pay speeding tickets.

Fixed Safety Cameras

Gatso fixed speed camera on a street in England

The Gatso speed camera is one of the most widely used cameras in the UK. Rear facing, these cameras are specifically designed to capture the number plate of the traffic offender's vehicle. However so, they are now being used as traffic light cameras owing to the fact that they function by using radar technology. The colour code is bright yellow in accordance with new traffic regulations.

Like the Gatso, the Peek speed camera also uses radar technology to take a photo of vehicles passing too fast. To avoid this some cars have radar detectors fitted to detect live in-use static cameras such as the Gatso and Peek.

On the other hand we have the forward facing Truvelo, which snaps an image of the front of the vehicle including the driver so there are no disputes over who was driving the vehicle at the time. This is the second most popular fixed speed camera on UK roads, so be cautious of these on your travels. Once you’ve been caught there’s no way out of it.

Speed Control Cameras

SPECS Speed camera on the motorway

SPECS speed cameras and SpeedSpike cameras are unarguably the fairest speed cameras you'll ever see. Unlike other fixed cameras, these models measure your average speed over a set distance of usually several miles, so they'll be located at multiple points. They function 24/7 and are mostly found on dual carriageways and motorways.

Again, there are various models that fall into this category, another one being the VECTOR speed camera. This particular camera uses Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and amongst monitoring speeding offences, it has a range of different uses on UK roads such as bus lane enforcement, level crossing control and toll roads.

Similarly, traffic light cameras are situated at road junctions controlled by traffic lights and are designed to catch drivers who can't beat the red light. Not only that, new models now come with speed measurement technology, thereby are making it possible to commit two offences in one act.

Mobile speed cameras

mobile speed camera commonly used by the police

These are the sort of speed traps you find manned by traffic police. They can be located almost anywhere, so keep an eye out for the warning signs. These models vary from the DS2 which is fixed to embedded speed strips in the roads surface, but only work when connected to the Police or Safety Camera Partnership team equipment. The mobile speed camera vans that are usually located on bridges or laybys in residential areas to catch unsuspecting speeders on quieter roads.

The Variable Speed Zones on Smart Motorways

Smart Motorways used advanced technology to operate the speed cameras on this stretch of road
Smart Motorways are slowly being introduced across the UK to minimise congestion and maximise the safety of drivers, while generating economic benefits for the country. Smart motorways are being developed on roads that are inconsistent when it comes to traffic flow. This makes it impossible to impose a general speed limit in such areas, hence the variable speed zone

In essence, cameras on Smart Motorways (like the HADECS 3) were introduced to improve traffic safety, reduce traffic congestion and to bring sanity on the roads in times of intermittent weather.

Speed camera technology is always advancing so whether you’re travelling down a quiet road or trekking cross-country on the motorway, your speed is nearly always being monitored. Despite motorist’s grumbles, speed cameras are designed to keep our roads safe. Do your part by consistently checking for speed signs and sticking as closely to the speed limit as possible, and to be more careful invest in a speed camera detector or sat nav with a good speed camera database to avoid any close calls.

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