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Speed Camera Myths

Motorists Warned Not to Fall for Speed Camera Myths

One enduring myth is that the cameras are just a means to make money out of ‘poor and persecuted’ drivers. However, the days of motorists seeing speed cameras as the enemy appear to be fading. In a poll conducted by the AA in 2019, 8 out of 10 of its members agreed that using cameras to identify speeding motorists was perfectly acceptable.

Speeding is a major contributory factor in many road traffic collisions and the cameras were introduced as a deterrent for bad driving. According to a study carried out between 1992 and 2016, speed cameras reduced road accidents by 17 to 39 percent and fatalities by 58 to 68 percent.

Speed Camera Myths You Should Ignore

The AA says that speed cameras are important for road safety and drivers shouldn’t be looking for ways to avoid them. The latest mobile cameras can detect a speeding car at up to a kilometre away and ‘see’ if you’re using a phone or not wearing a seatbelt. However, only bad drivers see them as a threat. But some myths persist about how to trick the cameras and evade speeding fines. Here we bust some of the most common myths.

To get fined, you have to be driving at least 10 percent over the limit.

False! Although there is guidance from the NPCC suggesting that police officers give drivers the 10 percent plus 2 mph leeway, you can’t depend on it. According to the law, exceeding the speed limit by even 1 mph can result in a fine.

Driving really fast doesn’t activate the camera.

False (and really ridiculous). The only way not to get caught by a speed camera is to drive within the legal limit.

Speed cameras must be yellow to be legal.

False! All fixed cameras were scheduled to be painted yellow by 2016 making them easier to see and to encourage motorists to drive within the speed limit. However, mobile cameras are harder to spot. And you can’t use the excuse of not seeing the camera to dodge a fine.

You can trick average speed cameras by changing lanes.

False! Modern average speed camera systems have multiple cameras to monitor all lanes and use ANPR technology to track vehicles so you can’t fool them by changing lanes.

You can ask for a speed awareness course.

False! Drivers with a clean licence who get caught speeding for the first time might be offered a speed awareness course instead of penalty points. But, if you don’t get the offer, you can’t request it.

So, there you have it. The only way to save yourself from a speeding ticket is to drive sensibly and within the speed limit. Whether you’ve got regular plates or personalised number plates, the ANPR cameras can catch you if you break the rules of the road.