Highways safety officer reveals must-read speed camera van secrets to avoid fines

Speed camera fines and charges can be avoided by taking simple advice from the speed officer and following some simple precautions. Former police officer, Gareth Thomas, also reveals whether there really is a 10 percent speed rule for offenders and whether road users can get caught twice on the same road. 


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Speaking to NorthWalesLive, Mr Thomas said: “The aim of cameras is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

“Go Safe prefers to educate drivers rather than punish them with fines and penalty points.”

Is there a 10 percent plus 2 mph speed limit allowance? 

Officially, the law states motorists are breaking the law if a car travels even one mph over the speed limit. 

However, in practice, this rule is rarely enforced due to advice from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). 

Gareth Thomas confirms motorists will not be issued a ticket if their speed does not exceed 10 percent plus 1mph on roads around North Wales. 

However, motorists are warned this threshold can change between different police regions and is not a blanket rule for the UK. 

Analysis from AutoExpress revealed the majority of UK regions did allow motorists to exceed the speed limit by a few mph. 

Officers in Nottinghamshire and Scotland failed to confirm if they had an extra buffer while a total of nine forces refused to reveal what speed limit their cameras were set. 

The allowance is to factor in any issues with the speed gun technology or problems with a car’s speedometer which could be slightly different to a true reading. 

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Can you get caught speeding on the same day? 

According to GoSafe, road users who are caught twice in 20 minutes will have the charges treated as just one offence. 

However, it is possible to be caught speeding several times across the same day which could see inexperienced motorists banned. 

Mr Thomas warns this is easier to achieve than many might believe as some roads have several speed cameras placed just metres apart. 

Courts may be lenient to motorists who have committed similar offences as long as these could be linked in some way. 

For example, motorists are unlikely to be charged with four motoring offences and issued twelve points off they were caught during the same overtaking manoeuvre. 


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Is it illegal to interfere with a speed camera van? 

Obstructing a police van’s view is against the law and road users could face further police action or prosecution if they attempt to do so. 

It is against the law to flash over road users about the dangers of a speeding van as this could be considered obstructing a constable in the execution of duty. 

However, Mr Thomas claims this law is often hard to enforce and can be difficult to prove without any evidence. 

He said: “It doesn’t bother me that people flash to warn them of the speed van – I just want to educate people and the van to act as a speed deterrent.”

What other offences do speed cameras pick up?

According to the safety officer, speed camera vans also pick up a range of motoring offences away from speeding. 

The cameras can detect whether you are wearing a seatbelt or even using your mobile phone behind the wheel. 

Speed vans can pick up these offices because the cameras are positioned at a driver’s eye level. 

This means the scans could still be positioned in areas where there are fixed speed cameras already installed. 

Does a camera need to be visible? 

According to the AA, fines will not become invalid if you can’t see a speed camera clearly. 

Mr Thomas also confirmed there were no laws about visibility for speed camera vans meaning officers can operate in the dark to catch out offenders.

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