Which speed cameras could land you a fine? Types of speed cameras explained


Almost 75 percent of all motoring offences are speed-related in England and Wales, forcing thousands of drivers to foot the bill for fines and penalties each year. While speed cameras are thought to have detected more than 95 percent of these speeding incidents between 2020 and 2021, not all types of road camera footage will result in monetary fines. These are all the types of speed cameras which could cost you at least £100 and points on your licence.

Speeding is the most prominent road traffic offence committed by drivers in the UK, and speed cameras play a significant role in catching offenders in the act.

According to a report released in February this year, 96 percent of all speeding offences committed in England and Wales between 2020 and 2021 were detected by road cameras.

In most cases, evidence of speeding will land drivers with a minimum fine of £100 and at least three points knocked off their licence.

Avoiding speeding fines is easily done by acknowledging limits and road laws in the UK, but which types of speed cameras should you be particularly wary of? Can all road cameras penalise drivers?

READ MORE: Motorist furious at £540 fine after driving through Clean Air Zone

Mobile speed camera

The mobile speed camera is operated by police officers and can be used almost anywhere, at any time.

Police vans can be parked in lay-bys, using the mounted camera to assess the speed of passers-by.

Mobile cameras can also come in the form of hand-held devices, using radar or laser technology to detect and fine those who break the speed limit.

Police Automatic Number Plate Recognition

This kind of speed camera is used to record number plates of every passing vehicle, with the information stored and used to ‘help detect, deter and disrupt criminality at a local, force, regional and national level’.

Being caught on this type of camera can result in a police arrest and a fine.

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SPECS speed camera

These larger cameras are used to monitor multiple lanes of traffic at once.

SPECS are mounted on gantries in sets, using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to photograph every passing vehicle.

Once the number plate has been captured by the camera, the data is sent to another set of SPECS further down the road, using the time it takes to travel between the two points as a way of measuring the average speed of each vehicle.

This type of speed camera will result in fines and points for drivers who are travelling beyond the limit on the stretch of road.

Fitted with infra-red illuminators, SPECS are in operation day and night on motorways and dual carriageways all over the country.

Types of speed cameras which can’t penalise drivers

Highways Agency Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)

ANPR cam­eras do not cap­ture individual num­ber plates, but are instead used to determine traffic levels and manage the flow of vehicles on the road.

This type of camera is used in accor­dance with the Data Pro­tec­tion Act 1998, limiting the Highways England’s use and stor­age of data collected by encrypting information at the moment of ‘capture’.

Even if you are speeding while passing this type of road camera, you will not be fined as it is not a speed camera.

Highways Agency CCTV cameras

These cameras do not fine you as they are used to manage traffic rather than detect speed.

When an accident occurs or an animal runs onto the motorway, these cameras allow the operator to act accordingly, by altering the speed limit through the screens mounted on the gantries above motorways and major A-roads.

The Highways Agency use these cameras to gather information on how road-users utilise the network and can help to plan future investments on the UK’s roads.


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