Road Safety & Car Safety

speed camera

Mobile Speed Cameras are devices used by Police Constabularies to detect speeding vehicles on public roads. Speed traps have evolved from the road side Gatso cameras to mini-video recorders fitted on police cars or motorbikes.

How fast can you escape the speed cam? Chances are slim; the devices emit an infra-red beam which can be cast to a 1000 m distance. Within this range, the traffic policeman already has your speed reading before your number plate becomes vivid. The mobile Gatso cameras are still in use and it's hard to detect them especially when hidden in a bush just a few distances off the road.

The UK laser and traffic control unit seem to be getting more cunning by the day. There are constantly devising ways to make the speed cam as inconspicuous as possible to speeding motorists. For example, if you are doing 35 kph on a 30 kph stretch, your obvious instinct is to be on the lookout for a shiny metal box on the roadside. However your jaws drop when you notice the traffic constabulary raising a small gadget in the air and immediately flag you down when you finally gain on him. Yes, it was a speed camera! They are now small gadgets that can easily be hidden under police coats.

That's not the end of it, the laser and traffic control district are now installing speed traps on police motorbikes and vans. So no Gatso device in the bushes or the traffic police pulling out the magical device, it's now hidden in the vehicle. Lots of speeding motorists won't suspect that harmless looking van on the roadside or the police motorbike packed and left unattended.

How do you know you have flagged down for speeding? Within two weeks you receive a speed ticket in your mailbox with a fine to pay. More interesting to know is the fact that speed cameras are rapidly building revenue for the UK Government; the revenues can rise up to £100million annually with about 80% of this figure ploughed back to the fitting and working of new speed cameras on the roads.

You expect about 3000 speed units on the UK roads and it's shocking that you cannot always see them in plain sight! So the average motorist just has to obey the 30 mph rule if in a 30mph zone, or risk a speeding ticket. However, as usual there is always that bunch of rebels who try to exploit loopholes in devices. Are there any faults with the speed trap devices? Some say there are!

Some speed cameras have been tested and discovered to contain erroneous readings depending on how they are used. The speed gun or mobile camera is supposed to send an infra-red beam that will hit the vehicle number plat accurately and bounce back. If not the number plate then any surface on the vehicle that reflects back the beam. However, in the chance the beam hits a side mirror, the beam gets reflected to another object like a wayside stone structure or sign. This doubles the distance recorded and the speed gadget has been known to record a higher speed limit. Panning the speed gadget also creates several distances that give different readings to the police.