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 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.
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 www.trafficengland.com
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.
|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.
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.