The looming speed camera awaiting to catch some unsuspecting driver has fueled many rumors over the years. Drivers can be at a disadvantage if they believe the speed camera myths and drive accordingly. Learn the facts about the ever-present speed camera and how it can affect your driving and your bank account if you’re hit with fines!
1. A speed camera doesn’t have adequate time to catch a driver who is going extremely fast.
This is a myth that was busted by the experts with BBC’s Top Gear. In order to beat a camera, the car would have to be traveling far faster than realistically possible.
2. Speed cameras are no longer operational. They are a thing of the past.
While some speed cameras have been turned off, many remain fully functional. BBC News estimates that half of UK road speed cameras have been turned off. That means of the 2,838 cameras in installed along UK roads, 1,486 are actively monitoring traffic.
3. As long as you are going slower than 10% plus 2 mph more than the posted speed limit, you can’t be fined for speeding.
This is incorrect. Police officers can choose to fine anyone exceeding the speed limit by any amount. There is no safe margin of speeding as commonly believed. There have been drivers who have been ticketed for exceeding the speed limit by as little as 3 mph. The National Police Chiefs’ Council has recommended that police officers give the 10% plus 2 mph allowance for speeding, but it’s up to the officer to decide whether to penalize a driver for speeding below that point.
4. Speed camera systems just don’t work.
A speed camera system is a series of cameras used to measure how fast a car passes different points along the road. If a vehicle passes these points quicker than expected, it means the driver is speeding. The systems are set up to catch drivers speeding even if they slow down for a short time while the camera is in view. The speed camera systems can be very effective tools for monitoring driver speed.
5. I can’t be caught if I’m driving on the opposite side of the road.
This is a common false belief. The truth is that a speed camera can monitor both directions of traffic. Many drivers have been fined for speeding while the camera is positioned on the other side of the road.
6. Speed cameras must be yellow.
Some people believe they can fight a speeding penalty if the camera was not painted yellow. This isn’t true. Cameras can be grey. Fines from a grey camera are just as binding as ones from a yellow camera.
7. I don’t have to pay the fine if I am not notified within a certain period of time.
Actually, this is true. The Notice of Intended Prosecution has to be posted within 14 days of the violation that has been captured by a speed camera.
8. If I get caught speeding, I will just ask to take a National Speed Awareness Course.
False. Only the authorities decide whether or not to offer the driver the chance to take a speed awareness course rather than receive the speeding penalties.
9. If I get caught speeding again after taking a speed awareness course, I can take the course again.
The guidelines for the speeding awareness courses state that attending a second course is possible, but there should have been a three-year gap between offenses. It’s up to the authorities, but they may withhold the offer of a speeding awareness course if the driver had a speeding offense within the last three years.
10. When a driver takes a speed awareness course, they don’t have to tell their insurer about the incident.
Whether or not the driver has to declare a speed awareness course depends on the insurer. Drivers are required to declare any traffic convictions to their insurers. According to RIAS, attending a speed awareness course is not classified as a conviction, so drivers do not need to disclose the attendance of a speed awareness course to their insurer. However, if a driver is asked by their insurer if they have attended a speed awareness course, they must answer truthfully.
But some insurers require drivers to let them know of any speed awareness courses they attend. If you choose not to tell your insurer that you attended a speed awareness course, you may be at risk of finding yourself without insurance when you need it. Some insurers have included a requirement in their policies that state that drivers must inform the insurer if they take a speed awareness course. Failure to comply with this or any part of the policy may cause the insurer to deny a claim and revoke your policy. So, whether or not you need to tell the insurer depends on the rules set forth by the insurer.
11. You can be caught speeding by speed cameras if you are on a horse or a bicycle.
This isn’t true. Even if you manage to exceed the speed limit on bicycle or horse, the speed limits only pertain to mechanized vehicles.
12. The only purpose of speed cameras is to make money.
Though many people may believe this, it is false. Speeding is a contributing factor in approximately one-fourth of all car accidents in the UK. Therefore, measures to reduce the number of people who break the speed limit help to reduce accidents and keep our roadways safe.