Speed cameras


A combination of fixed speed cameras and the police using mobile speed camera units monitor the maximum speed limits on the UK’s network of roads. To avoid fines the best speeding advice is always to be fully aware of the maximum speed you can drive along all the roads you use.

Speeding advice from motoring organisations often highlights the lack of awareness when driving along single or dual carriageways, for instance, as they are often mistaken and have different speed restrictions.

Types of speed camera

Speed cameras are primarily used in three settings:

  • Gatso cameras are commonly set up in a permanent location at the side of the road, and are used to deter speeding and enforce the speed limit. The cameras are housed in a highly visible box and include specific marking on the ground which ensures that observant drivers are made aware of them
  • Spec cameras are often used in temporary settings, when road work requires a section of the road to be closed and the speed limit lowered. The system works through the use of two cameras, an entry camera and an exit camera. When a vehicle passes an entry camera it is photographed, and when it passes the exit camera it is photographed again. The time between both pictures and the distance between the cameras enables the camera to calculate the average speed of the vehicle
  • Other hand-held speed cameras are commonly used by police and are not site specific. The cameras are transported in the police car and used whenever needed

How to approach speed cameras

As speed cameras usually test your average speed, speeding advice is to drive within the maximum speed limit allowed on any particular road. Speeding up and the slowing down for the speed cameras is not advisable. Speeding advice from safety organisations consistently highlights excessive speed - particularly in urban areas - as the main cause of road traffic accidents each year.

To avoid any fixed penalty notice you would receive for speeding, consult the Highway Code for help and advice about the current enforceable speed limits. Speeding advice from the police often mentions a lack of due care and attention when using the UK’s road network. Remember, ignorance of the speed limit is no defence.

What to do with a ticket

If you do receive a speeding fine this will be in the form of a fixed penalty notice. The fixed penalty notice will arrive in the post within 14 days of the alleged speeding offence taking place.

  • You have 28 days to either accept the notice and pay the fine (currently £60 and three penalty points on your licence) or dispute your notice.
  • If you intend to dispute your notice, speeding advice from a solicitor is absolutely essential.

Your solicitor can assess your case and give you a clear indication whether you have grounds to dispute your fixed penalty notice. If you do dispute a notice the case will come before a court.

Your solicitor can not only represent you in court, but they can also help you clarify any points of law that your case may touch on. Never try and handle your case alone. The support and advice from a solicitor will give your case its best chance of success.

Still have unanswered questions? See our useful guidance page on speeding offences.

Do you have a dispute surrounding a speeding fine or penalty points? Contact Law works with specialist top motoring lawyers who can assist you in contesting a fine if you should not have been issued with it. Please call us on 0800 046 1464 or complete the web-form above.

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