Ever wondered about speed camera accuracy?

speed camera accuracy

Speed cameras have been a common feature across the UK for many years, with motorists now well aware of what they are and what they are designed to do. The signature yellow or grey boxes are well signed and have been installed in many places where it has been found that motorists tend to exceed the speed limit.

So just how do these speed cameras work and how accurate are they?

The yellow speed cameras that we are familiar with seeing in our towns and country roads are called Gatso speed cameras and they have been around since 2007. They now record speed digitally, having previously used film when they were first introduced. The use of digital technology now means that footage can be viewed instantly, whereas previously an operative would need to manually retrieve a tape from inside the camera.

The way the camera works is it takes two very quick photos of a passing vehicle using radar technology. The time it takes for the vehicle to pass between the two points enables the camera to calculate the speed at which the vehicle is travelling.

There is also a back-up method built into the cameras so that there can be no dispute of how fast the vehicle was travelling. This is all to do with the white lines that are painted on the road in the vicinity of the camera. The camera can track how fast the vehicles are travelling between the lines, and depending on the speed limit of that particular road, it can calculate whether or not the vehicle is travelling too fast.

This secondary reading isn’t just simply a backup; it is now a legal requirement to ensure that there is no plausible challenge over the readings and ensure speed camera accuracy.

The roadside cameras are accurate to within 0.5 miles per hour (MPH) so if you have been caught travelling over the speed limit then it is going to offer a very precise measurement of exactly how far over the limit you were. Weather conditions can affect the accuracy, but only marginally. For example, a reading in clear, bright, daylight conditions is likely to have less of a margin for error compared with a foggy, rainy, night time reading – however, this is all taken into account, and still doesn’t exceed the 0.5 MPH expected deviation.

Although most speeding offences result in points and a fine, some drivers might be at risk of losing their licence due to totting where you’ve reached 12 points and results in disqualification for six months. If you’re concerned about the potential loss of your licence and the impact that will have, give Motoring Defence a call on 0800 612 4859 and we can give you free advice on your position.