If another car sets off the camera, can this affect me?

speeding questions

A common question we often hear asked is whether or not speed camera can make mistakes when recording speeding cars. Many motorists might wonder whether if they are travelling past a speed camera and another car sets it off by travelling too fast, is there a chance that they will be landed with a speeding offence incorrectly?

This is a good question but the answer is that you don’t need to worry. If you’re travelling at the correct speed and another car sets off a speed camera near to you then you will not receive a letter incorrectly, the cameras have back-up systems to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

What are these back-up systems?

The most common type of speed camera present on UK roads in the Gatso camera. These are the ones that you will often see mounted on the overhead gantries on motorways. The first way the camera works is to take two images in quick succession, which enables police to determine how quickly you were travelling between these points. The timing of the images and the distance travelled enables them to calculate your miles per hour.

In addition to this, you’ll probably have noticed white lines painted on the roads underneath speed cameras. This is the second way of identifying how quickly your vehicle has passed between two marked points. Police will look at the exact time your vehicle entered the lined area, and how long it took to pass through the other lines. This also enables a miles per hour calculation to be undertaken.

Although there is a degree of automation in any process such as this, if there are two cars travelling close together and one sets off the speed camera, human assessment of the two recording devices will enable the police to work out which vehicle triggered the camera.

So if you’re travelling at (or under) the speed limit you have no reason to be concerned, even if other motorists around you are exceeding the limit. These systems have been operating for many years, and their readings are accurate and precise enough to be used in courts of law, so you can trust them to correctly identify a speeder versus other motorists.