The UK has one of the best road safety records in the world. Among other measures, speed cameras play an important role in helping to keep the country’?s road network safer.
Types of safety cameras
Speed cameras can be:
- average speed (time-over-distance)
Most speed cameras in England and Wales are operated by local
Partnerships. The partnerships are often formed of the local
authorities, the police, and the courts.
What are the rules for speed cameras?
How speed cameras are used is subject to the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers. The Department for Transport provides an information leaflet: "Use of speed and red-light cameras for traffic enforcement: guidance on deployment, visibility and signing." The leaflet explains the rules on where cameras can be used and how they should be displayed and signposted. However, even if speed cameras do not conform to this guidance you will not be able to use this as a defence if you are caught speeding.
Speed cameras are generally installed on roads:
a history of road traffic collisions, and
there is evidence of a speeding problem, or
there is local community concern.
For selecting potential camera sites, the local safety partnership
is recommended to analyse collision data over a minimum period,
usually at least 3 years. Average speed data should also be
collected, to establish the level of non compliance with the
speed limit. This information will help to establish whether
it would be appropriate to place a speed camera at that particular
The police may also use cameras to enforce speed limits and this is not governed by the same guidance on visibility.
fines, endorsements, penalty points and disqualification
If a vehicle is caught speeding by a camera, the registered keeper will be sent a notice of intended prosecution within 14 days of the alleged offence.
In most cases a speeding offence is dealt with by a conditional offer of fixed penalty. This is a paper process where a Notice of Intended Prosecution is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle. Part of this form requires the registered keeper to identify the driver at the time of the offence.
Depending on the severity of the offence, and the number of points on your licence, you may be eligible for a conditional offer of a fixed penalty. This means you will not have to attend a court hearing if you pay the fixed penalty.
At present the minimum fine for speeding is £100 and three penalty points will be added to your licence.
If you wish to challenge the penalty or you have mitigating circumstances which you wish to be taken into consideration you should inform the police who will normally issue you with a summons.
This will give you the opportunity to appear in court. The Magistrates determine any fine and penalty points awarded. They have the power to increase the fine and the penalty points and you may also be ordered to pay court costs.
All fines go to HM Treasury. Neither the police nor local councils profit from fines.
Taking a case to court
If you choose a court hearing instead of paying the fixed penalty fine you should reply, using the paperwork provided, to inform the police of your intention. You will then receive a summons. You can give reasons for disputing the speeding fine on the summons, plus any evidence you want the court to take into account.