Gatso Traffic Camera

The first thing you need to know is that there are at least 11 various types of safety or speed cameras.

  • The Gatso (most commonly known as the speed camera and is normally bright yellow.) This camera uses radar technology to measure how fast a car is travelling and has a powerful flash to enable it to take a good picture of the car speeding. It has a static roll of film that does run out. It is a legal requirement to have a secondary measurement for speed, which is why the lines are there.
  • New Truevlo D-Cam. These cameras can be faced into oncoming traffic or be rear facing. They have the ability to monitor 3 lanes of traffic and can also be utilised as a red light camera. (It can store up to 10,000 digital photos.)
  • Truevlo – This is a forward facing speed camera, this one shows not only the car but the driver of the vehicle and it uses sensors to calculate speed.

  • Mobile Speed Cameras – Radar Guns, Laser Guns. These first two target a vehicles speed and in the  marked and unmarked Police car, the speedometer. A policeman needs to follow you for  at least 2/10 miles  or 1056 feet to issue a notice for speeding.
  • SPECS – Average speed camera. These are normally fitted over a longer stretch of road, at intermittent points, These utilise infer- red and track your speed over a specific distance, which can be many miles.
  • Traffic Light Camera – These cameras can also be used as speed camera, so be careful when driving through the lights.
  • SpeedCurb– This fixed camera is used for both traffic light and speed offences. Most monitor single lane traffic.
  • PEEK – These cameras are normally used in areas that are more built up. Counties such as Greater London, Berkshire and Leicestershire use these types and they are rear facing due to the flash.
  •  DS2 Speed Cameras – Can be used to monitor traffic moving in opposite directions and are normally semi-permanent.
  • Watchman – is similar to the Gatso (see number 1)
  • SpeedSpike is the latest speed camera to be used on our roads and works over a set distance than a fixed point and can be mounted on gantries or roadside posts.

The Highways Agency and traffic cameras

The High­ways Agency owns over 1500 Traf­fic Cam­eras and has been using them to assist with the man­age­ment of traf­fic on the trunk road and motor­way net­work in Eng­land for nearly 30 years. Wales and Scot­land have sep­a­rate operations.

The traf­fic cam­eras are usu­ally mounted on 12m high masts on the grass verge or on over­head gantries but are often incon­spic­u­ous because they are not painted with high vis­i­bil­ity paint, pri­mar­ily because they are not used for speed enforcement.

Pri­mary users

The pri­mary users of the traf­fic cam­eras are the High­ways Agency’s Regional and National Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Cen­tre oper­a­tors. The oper­a­tors are able to move and zoom the cam­eras to mon­i­tor and man­age con­ges­tion and inci­dents. The cam­eras give a bird’s eye view of what is hap­pen­ing which helps the oper­a­tor to decide on the sup­port needed.

Types of camera

For an overview of the dif­fer­ent types of cam­era please visit the Cam­eras — Fair Pro­cess­ing Notice page.

Traf­fic cam­era images

The High­ways Agency has devel­oped poli­cies and a tech­ni­cal inter­face that will allow stake­hold­ers to view the images in a for­mat suit­able for their needs. The mech­a­nism by which stake­hold­ers are linked to the High­ways Agency’s traf­fic cam­eras is known as the VIH (Video Infor­ma­tion Highway).

An inno­v­a­tive part­ner­ing approach with media organ­i­sa­tions and web hosts has been imple­mented, allow­ing nom­i­nated third par­ties or ‘media part­ners’ to access and dis­sem­i­nate still and live images to the pub­lic through their own traf­fic news bul­letins and websites.

Who can access traf­fic cam­era images?

Every­body can access traf­fic cam­era images through

The High­ways Agency has devel­oped var­i­ous ser­vices that will allow stake­hold­ers such as oper­a­tional part­ners and stake­hold­ers to view traf­fic cam­era images, how­ever this ser­vice is cur­rently suspended.


 Penalty table

Offence Maximum penalty Penalty points
*Causing death by dangerous driving 14 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years) 3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)
*Dangerous driving 2 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification 3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)
*Causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs 14 years’ imprisonment / Unlimited fine / Obligatory disqualification (minimum 2 years) 3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)
Careless and inconsiderate driving £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 9
Driving while unfit through drink or drugs or with excess alcohol: or failing to provide a specimen for analysis 6 months’ imprisonment / £5,000 fine / Obligatory disqualification 3 to 11 (if exceptionally not disqualified)
Failing to stop after an accident or failing to report an accident 6 months’ imprisonment / £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 5 to 10
Driving while disqualified 6 months’ imprisonment (12 months in Scotland) / £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 6
Driving after refusal or revocation of licence on medical grounds 6 months’ imprisonment / £5,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 6
Driving without insurance Fines: LGV £5,000 PCV £5,000 Other £2,500 / Obligatory disqualification (6 months minimum) if offence committed within 3 years of a previous conviction for the same offence – otherwise discretionary 3 in each case
Failure to have proper control of vehicle or full view of the road and traffic ahead, or using a hand-held mobile phone when driving £1,000 fine (£2,500 for PCV or goods vehicle) / Discretionary disqualification 3
Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence £1,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 6
Speeding £1,000 fine (£2,500 for motorway offences) / Discretionary disqualification 3 to 6, or 3 (fixed penalty)
Traffic light offences £1,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 3
No MOT certificate £1,000 fine
Seat belt offences £500 fine
Dangerous cycling £1,000 fine
Careless cycling £1,000 fine
Cycling on pavement £500 fine
Failing to identify driver of vehicle £1,000 fine / Discretionary disqualification 6
  • Where a court disqualifies a person on conviction for one of these offences, it must order an extended retest. The courts also have discretion to order a retest for any other offence which carries penalty points, an extended retest where disqualification is obligatory, and an ordinary test where disqualification is not obligatory.

The Highway Code

Remember – If you are a new driver, you are on a two year probation period and if you accumulate 6 points, your driving licence will most likely be revoked and you will then have to resit BOTH driving and theory tests again and it will increase the premiums on your car insurance when you renew.