The facts versus the myths Speed cameras are the bane of many a motorist’s life, particularly those with a propensity for speeding. However, the majority of motorists welcome speed cameras as a vital part of policing necessary to protect the lives of others on the road. For individuals charged with speeding offences, the evidence of speed cameras can prove vital to their defence.
Brake, the road safety charity which campaigns for safer roads, has recently given an interview which dispels many of the myths surrounding speed cameras. So what do people commonly think about speed cameras – and what is the reality?
This is what Brake has revealed:
Speed cameras are sometimes turned off
This is correct: not all are actually fully operational as yet (although Brake wants them all switched on).
There is 10% plus 2mph leeway before you get a speeding penalty
Not true: the law says you can receive a speeding penalty even if the speed limit has been exceeded by just 1mph. Whether the police do actually issue a penalty ticket is subject to their discretion to a certain extent. However, there is speed enforcement policy guidance that suggests that there will be enforcement normally when the driver exceeds the speed limit by 10 per cent over the speed limit plus 2 mph.
If you drive very fast, the camera won’t trigger:
Fortunately for road safety, this is a myth: the only way to avoid triggering a speed camera is to drive within the speed limit.
Static speed cameras must be painted yellow to be legal:
Not true: while all static speed cameras in England are being painted yellow to increase their visibility, some remain grey and can still catch you if you are speeding.
Average speed cameras don’t really work:
Not true: Brake says these are an effective way to prevent dangerous driver behaviour, and that they are “particularly beneficial as they enforce limits over a longer stretch of road, preventing law-breaking drivers from being able to speed up again immediately after passing a camera”.
For a speeding ticket to be valid you must be notified within a certain time:
This is correct: there are procedural requirements that if you are caught speeding by a speed camera, a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) must be sent to the registered vehicle owner within 14 days. If it is sent later, you cannot be prosecuted.
If caught speeding, you can request a speed awareness course
This isn’t true. However, if you are eligible for a speed awareness course you will told by the police and invited to attend. You can’t ask to go on one.
You can go on a speed awareness course more than once:
This is true in certain cases: if you are caught speeding a second time, you may be invited to attend another course. However, this depends on the circumstances of the offence and the application of the relevant guidelines. For instance, it cannot be within three years of the first-speed awareness course.
You don’t have to tell your insurance company if you go on a speed awareness course Unfortunately, you do:
if you don’t tell your insurer about the speed awareness course and later make a claim, you could find this invalidates your insurance policy. Speed cameras can catch a speeding bicycle or horse Not true, speeding offences legislation only covers motor or mechanically propelled vehicles.
How can we help?
If you have been caught by a speed camera and you have been issued with a Notice of Intended Prosecution, contact the road traffic defence solicitors at Qamar Solicitors for urgent advice and representation as to what you should do next. Contact us now: