Speed Camera Descriptions
The motorists’ bane or one of the great road safety assets of the police force, tolerate them, or hate them (does anyone actually like them?) they are here to stay, and quite a variety there are.
Let’s look at the most common:
Probably the most recognisable is the Gatso, the yellow box-on-a post which, using radar technology, takes photos on traditional type film, of the rear of the vehicle, rather than the front, to avoid the photo-flash distracting the driver.
The Truvelo is more usually recognisable as the grey box-on-a-post, which is capable of taking front facing pictures, so showing the driver of the vehicle at the time, who is not distracted by a flash, as it is in infra-red, which is invisible to the human eye.
The speed travelled at is calculated by sensor strips embedded in the road surface approaching the camera.
The Gatso little brother is a smaller grey or yellow box attached to, or adjacent to, traffic lights.
Known as the RLC (red light camera), it too works on sensors embedded in the road surface, which triggers if the red light is crossed.
It also uses the same radar system as its big brother and can photo speeding vehicles as well as or including red light violation.
An increasingly common camera is the average speed check system, known as SPECS. This system comprises of two or more fixed cameras, usually on an overhead gantry or arm.
These cameras have ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) ability and ‘see’ a vehicle go past the first camera, and record the time taken until it reaches the next camera, and thus calculate the average mile-per-hour driven.
Because the cameras picture ‘face on’, motorbikes remain reasonably immune to SPECS, having no front-facing number plates.
If you are unlucky enough to be one of the millions of drivers each year who are caught speeding or who received a notice of intended prosecution then you will be expecting points on your licence and a fine.
If it’s a low speed offence and your first in two years then you may well be offered a driving awareness course at the police forces discretion. If your speed is higher, then you face a fix penalty fine and 3 – 6 points on your licence. You can either accept this or opt to defend your self in court.
If you choose to defend the allegation then you need good representation from a team of expert speeding lawyers (such as Pattersonlaw.co.uk) who know the best ways to minimise the points and fines that you will receive.
Police forces have an array of mobile and hand-held speed recorders. The mini-gatso, is pretty much a miniaturised version of the yellow box-on–a-post, using the same type of radar, but in an in-vehicle situation.
The tele-traffic laser guns are usually used as a vehicle based system which can be set up to spot speeding vehicles up to 1000 metres distant, using laser technology. The device pictures the number plate and records it on video film along with the vehicles speed.
Without doubt, more hi- tech wizardly devices are in the pipeline, tolerate or hate.