Industry

How accurate are the speed cameras in your county?

A new investigation shows how fast you must travel past a speed camera to trigger a speeding ticket

AUTO EXPRESS has published a report that gives an interesting insight into how accurate speed cameras actually are, effectively putting to be the notion that a ticket will be issued if a driver is as little as 1mph over the legal limit.

The report involved Auto Express approaching the UK’s 45 police forces, via freedom of information requests, to ask how strictly the police enforce the law with the nation’s 3,224 cameras.

They claim that the majority of forces that responded advised that a camera would only activate when vehicles exceeded the speed limit by 10% + 2mph – 35mph on a 30mph road and 79mph on a motorway – which is in line with the Association of Chief of Police guidelines.

While this information may seem like a green light to get where you’re going more quickly, the report also reveals that not all forces use the scale and some forces declined to reveal the threshold at all.

Here is the list of forces the magazine approached and the thresholds that they advised:

                  Force                 Number of Cameras              Threshold

Avon and Somerset

41

10% + 2mph

Bedfordshire

38

Would not reveal threshold

Cambridgeshire

32

Would not reveal threshold

Cheshire

15

10% + 2mph

Cleveland

4

10% + 2mph

Derbyshire

18

10% + 2mph

Devon and Cornwall

98

10% + 2mph

Durham

0 fixed

10% + 2mph

Essex

63

Don't use a standard threshold

Greater Manchester

235

Would not reveal threshold

Gwent

21

10% + 2mph

Hampshire

36

10% + 2mph

Hertfordshire

53

Would not reveal threshold

Kent

109

10% + 2mph

Lancashire

34

10% + 3mph

Leicestershire

30

10% + 2mph

Merseyside

18

10% + 2mph

Metropolitan Police/TfL

805

10% + 3mph

Norfolk

26

10% + 2mph

North Wales

28

10% + 2mph

Northumbria

55

10% + 2mph

Nottinghamshire

48

Refused to confirm if threshold exists

Police Service of Northern Ireland

12

10% + 2mph

Scotland

173

Refused to confirm if threshold exists

South Wales

137

10% + 2mph

South Yorkshire

25

10% + 2mph

Staffordshire

286

Would not reveal threshold

Suffolk

4

10% + 2mph

Thames Valley

294

10% + 2mph

Warwickshire

28

10% + 2mph

West Mercia

23

10% + 2mph

West Midlands

33

Would not reveal threshold

West Yorkshire

402

10% + 2mph

Can you trust your bike's speedometer?

For the most part, yes. A modern bikes speedo should always over-read the machines speed – my BMW R1250RT claims 70mph on the speedo while the GPS (which should be a more accurate reading) claims 67mph.

Manufacturers are bound by legislation that means a vehicle’s speedo cannot underestimate the vehicles speed, most over-read by a few percent. Old vehicles may have much less accurate speedometers. It could be due to wear and tear, less accurate manufacturing methods or poor maintenance, all of which could add up to a speedo that wanders between speeds giving a very inaccurate reading.

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