Is It OK To Speed In The Rain?

Have you ever noticed how mobile speed traps hardly ever operate in the rain or in icy conditions?

They almost always only operate in good weather conditions.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the roads are MUCH more dangerous when it’s wet.

This is especially true when there has been a long dry spell, and then the rain comes.

Rubber from cars tyres gets embedded in to the road surface over time and when it rains, the water draws the oils in the rubber to the surface, making it like an ice rink for a while until the oils get washed away.

But how often do you see mobile camera vans out in the rain?

Seriously, think about it.

I have NEVER seen them!

I think what it indicates is that Mobile Speed Traps are more to do with generating revenue than they are to do with keeping us safe on the road.

But what do you think?

Post a comment on the blog…

All the best,

Adam

P.S. Sadly we’ve had to introduce comment moderation due to someone (with the same IP address but 4 different names and email addresses :-)) having a conversation with themselves. Rest assured that all genuine comments will be ‘allowed’, it will just take a while for them to appear…

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96 Comments

  1. About time we introduced dual speed limits on our motorways like in France (130kph in dry conditions, 110kph in wet for example). Speed cameras and devices do not work well in the rain and will often result in wrong readings.

  2. I must add that I’ve never seen them in the dark either when it is also more dangerous, especially in unlit areas. Don’t they work in the dark?

  3. I have seen them in the rain. Henley in Arden, July 2008, very heavy rain and the road was impassable to small cars because of flooding, but the van just sat their waiting for them to come through !

  4. This is nothing new Adam, we all know they are there to produce money not prevent accidents. How often do you see them on tricky roads? They are usually on open roads where you can quite safely put you foot down a little.

  5. Of course it has little to do with safety, if that was the case they would be collaring cycle riders without lights, rideing on the pavement,shooting red lights, and the pedestrians who now feel they have the right to cross the road whenever, and its the car drivers job to avoid them or be blamed.[I am also a pedestrian and a cyclist]

  6. I asolutely agree and concur with you, however there there is no getting away with GATSO or SPECS cameras no matter what the weather condition.

  7. I think you’re right. There’s one that is regularaly down one of the roads to work (in fact he was there again today). I must admit I don’t think I have ever seen them there in the rain always on clear days like today. They position themselves just where the 30 goes to a 50, or the other way where the 50 goes to a 30,so they are going to get somebody. I even got caught going away from the camera, they called it a receding ticket, don’t ya just luv em!!!!

  8. Could it be that the rain interferes with reception in the wet, since radar speed traps work off reflected beams could these be diverted or interfered with by water, we all know how water affects the transmission of light waves just try looking at your hand as you dip it in to water, it bends, poor reflections could mean false readings. I don’t know, just a thought.

  9. Cannot use Lasers hand held in Rain due to weather conditions that interfere with Reading , Not accurate nor can Mobile units

  10. Go out after dark they might get frightened and lost!!!, and if it is raining could get their hair wet!!!

    1. Personally, if cameras without doubt made the roads safer, I’d go with it. I cant stand the hotch potch of bumps, width restrictions chicanes everywhere. If cameras work, you shouldn’t need all the random bumps and bends. So my thought is, they don’t, or we’d just have cameras and councils would take fines, end of.
      What would be better is a fleet of unmarked real coppers who at any time could stop speeders and dangerous drivers. You would not know who was a copper. After a pile of convictions, the persistent idiots who ruin everything for the rest of us would ditch the phone and slow down and become safer like us, or be removed from the roads.
      As was mentioned, cameras cant determine dangerous, but coppers can – and they can have cctv in their cars and hats too, just to stop them getting power crazy

  11. People generally drive more slowly in the rain, so there’s little business for the camera teams. If cameras could assess danger rather than speed we all might have more respect for them.

  12. What amazes me in rain is the number of cars driving either on parking lights or no lights. Years ago they had a TV advert showing that you see the bulk of a car in fog or rain BEFORE you see its parking lights, hence the law that you should drive with dipped headlights not parking lights. But i’ve seen torrential rain. police patrol cars and plenty of vehicles on parking lights / no lights but I’ve never seen one stopped. That’s because it’s not an “easy catch” like speed limits.

  13. I think answer is simply that less police work at night and in the rain visibility is worse meaning you can’t accurately identify a car and it’s speed. Also the poor coppers will get wet.

  14. It WAS law some time ago that they can’t operate in the rain due to false readings. They were also not allowed to ‘hide’. I don’t know if the rules have changed.

    What worries me more is this stupid attitude by Kent Police that they will prosecute for use of a HANDS-FREE!!!!! mobile phone, even though it’s not illegal!!!!!
    WTF???????

  15. Well I am surprised with your comments, of course speed camera’s have had no other function than to generate income, except the ones a traffic lights, every set of traffic lights should have them.

    I agree we should have the speed limits on our roads as in france, that includes some as low as 20mph in built up area’s.

  16. True enough. In our area mobile camera vans operators or perhaps due to “The Force” edict or directive are usually adverse to operating in hours of darkness although not always the case elsewhere. I have a question has anyone attemted submitting an defence of “I know that as I passed the (camera) van that a lrge goods vehicle was passing the other way having just passed me…. etc.” I have observed vans rocking due to wind pressure and vibration from passing LGV’s and to be frank as “reasonable doubt” must still be applied. Could the operator whether private or Police officer genuinely dispute this as evidence – I would think highly unlikely! The point being a slight movement of the (camera) van would appear as large movement at 100 metres to a mile or so away, hence in invalid reading! Another Q. What are thoughts on imposition of 20 mph limits, the local evidence as to the need, their effects on road conditions and environmental pollution, incrreased fuel costs and elongated journey time, together with immediate post-zone risks of speed etc?

  17. Speed traps are not about safety. If the authorities are interested in safety they would work to prevent speeding not catch speeders.

  18. As a Police Traffic Officer I/we never did mobile speed checks in the rain. The reason is obvious and we had to stand out in it. It could be they don’t do it now because of the legal requirement, vision inhibited, I don’t know, but they must use the device (in conformity with PSDB and ACPO Guidelines) to ‘CORROBORATE their opinion’ formed by observations first, NOW do they do that? The ones I have (carefully) observed just seem to look through the viewfinder all the time. A good reason to challenge any allegation. It’s not what the evidence is it is how it was obtained!!!

  19. It could be that the spray from each vehicle affects the photographic image and thus an accurate reading cannot be taken. However this may not be the case as you say in the cold periods they again do not work. I have no answer for that other than it most likely it gets cold and the staff do not like sitting in the cold?? So conclusion is that yes they go out to raise funds which is not really in the public interest as safety is paramount!

  20. Youre quite right of course meanwhile Grannies are getting mugged & worse It really makes me sick

  21. Is it because if they operate in bad weather one would have an argument that the Van is not stable and therefore not accurate ?

  22. Dear Adam

    I can’t say i have never seen a speed trap van in the rain, but certainly not in icy conditions. Yes they are there to collect funds, funny that at times they are next to fixed cameras bit of a giveaway that the camera is inoperative!! bless them. These people must be among the most loathed in the UK

  23. I thought it was due to slippage when the laser tries to lock on a wet ad??? It can add 8 mph plus to your recorded speed?

  24. We have all heard the expression ‘rip off Britain’, how true this is from road fund tax (milk Cow) any way they can relieve your wallet of money. We know the UK along with many other countries is going through hard times more and more reasons to encourage people to help get us out NOT kick us while we are done encourage get rid of these stupid restrictions AND REDUCE FUEL TAX lets get this bl##dy country Great again.

  25. I think it is because number plates are harder to read in the rain because the spray makes them drity and very blury as some cars i have passed the plates could not be seen at all

  26. 1. MOBILE CASH MACHINES WHICH DON’T PAY OUT?
    or
    2, FINE WEATHER AMUSEMENTS FOR THE THOUGHT POLICE? (Except these morons can’t think.)

    TAKE YOUR PICK……………BUT SURELY MOTORISTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO CHALLENGE THE ACCURACY OF THE EQUIPMENT AS THE TIME OF THE HEIST.

  27. I agree. I keep remembering a report in the press years ago about a camera that was installed on an accident black spot on a country road somewhere in the Midlands. Accidents dropped dramatically, but very few drivers were caught speeding. What did the police do? They took the camera away again because it wasn’t making enough money! As soon as they did that the accident rate went up again. Proof indeed that revenue is more important than road safety………

  28. YES – dead right – the poor police wont stand out in the pouring rain getting wet – mind you I have seen camera vans out in poor weather, but you are inside. What about summer evening and weekends – does the overtime costs keep that down too

  29. speed cameras detect people that break the law of the land

    end of …..
    WOW, that’s short and abrupt, of course your right, by why do us drivers get find and treated like criminals doing a few miles over limit yet those thugs who break into houses and cause distress gets off with a warning??

  30. 26th October 2011 newgale pembs ,torrential rain, roads flooded, parked between 2 vw camper vans
    2 nov radyr cardiff parked just beyond brow of hill in the dark

  31. Couldn’t agree more. They only work 9 – 5 as well. You’d think they’d do a few evening/night sessions to try to give the impression, however spurious, that it’s about road safety, but they can’t even work that out.

  32. We all know that road safety is of no consequence here, it is 100% revenue generation. It is about time the public started challenging these tickets as a matter of course and not exception. There is no way under Gods sun that they can convict on the basis of a dodgy photo. In the final analysis to only way to convict you is if you admit the offence. Don’t admit, and challenging the evidence usually means no conviction and them having to pay costs.

  33. Everyone with half a brain knows that speed cameras are only revenue raisers.If not, why are they not positioned in built up areas, by schools, and anywhere else where they might actually do some good.The British motorist is the most persecuted in Europe, as well as the most ripped off. I wonder how the exchequer would manage if they finally achieved their aim, and got us all off the road

  34. The Police are human, they are doing work according to their directives which I am 100% certain is more about the ££ than safety. I don’t blame them personally at all.
    (off topic) You are far less likely to get mugged in the rain too – funny that.
    These speed traps always seem to be on good stretches of open road, where it is actually safe to go fast.
    Speed and speeding DOES NOT equal a hazard, what does present mortal danger is dangerous driving – AT ANY SPEED – why are these units not on the road going after dangerous driving? – now that WOULD help safety!!
    Why all the Gatso’s at dangerous junctions? (A24 classic)
    Most everyone has eyes on the speedometer and NOT the road – that is crazy.
    Any statistics on accidents caused by safety cameras? … NO.
    (I know anything can be proven in statisics) However, I came accross a study a while back – that showed “Drivers using speed detection devices are less likely to not get a speeding ticket BUT are also far less likely to be involved in an accident” – caused by that driver or a third party – inconvenient truth?!
    When I drive, that’s all I do – I don’t have the radio on, nor do I talk or anything else distracting, and I drive at a safe speed which could be exceeding the speed limit (am not about to incriminate myself), when it rains again I drive a safe speed which could far below the speed limit.
    I bet this applies to most on this forum 🙂

  35. I have actualy been caught in wet by van…. 43 in a 30 it sounds bad but road opened up to 50 just after where he was sat so i was getting upto speed.. luckily I had some template letters I eventualy got it cancelled

  36. I think it is iresponsible to suggest that speeding in wet and icy conditions will not result in any penalty tickets. The highest penalty is ‘life’, so best to drive with respect for the conditions.

  37. Definitely correct. Let shop lifters off scotfree but fine someone and add points to their license for three/four years for doing 5mph over the limit. Outrageous

  38. Some fundermental reasons why we don’t we see mobile speed detection cameras in raining or adverse weather conditions:
    Apart for some of the obvious reasons already stated, it’s also a matter of Optical/Electro-Magnetic physics.
    The preferred infrared laser emitting speed detection cameras offer far greater pinpoint and much longer range accuracy than radar based detection cameras.
    But in bad weather (rain, drizzle, sleet snow fog, smog -anything in the air that contains a significant amount of water droplets / ices crystals) will cause a combination diffraction and dispersion of the beam (one of the resultants of dispersion is reflection) both these physical phenomenon can affect lasers and radar beams of varying degrees based on EM frequency, wavelength, as well as the physical geometries and substances they encounter.
    These facts can be contested in court in conjunction of the camera being unstable in more winder conditions likely to be present in bad weather conditions (as pointed out earlier).
    These cameras must do a lot of error corrections (just like your DVD player laser data processor) so any extra interference to their beam emmission & detection would most likely overwhelm any tolerable error corrections causing an ‘Error’. This is probably why they have to be calibrated/checked & serviced at regular intervals (as you’d expect with most pieces of precise measuring equipment). I believe this is also contestable in court.

    At night time, with good weather these cameras (laser & radar) are just as effective as during the daytime in good weather. The only problem is getting a photo of the vehicle reg. and preferably the driver too. Fixed cameras use either an ordinary flash, (infra red for the forward facing cameras) or for specs, a flood light or infra-red illuminator. So until these cameras are fitted with legally accepted and ridiculously expensive military grade night vision tech, the only practical way to identify a speeding vehicle is to pull it over. This is obviously done by the police (as was my experience of my first speeding ticket).

    Another question for everyone one to ponder: Since the government cutbacks on the police and other authority departments, I have hardly seen a mobile speed camera in the last 2 years and I do get out a bit, mainly in the South and NW of the UK. I’ve probably seen no more than 2 mobile speed traps, so have they improved on their stealth? or are they on the decline? or am I just fortunate??

    Disclaimer: The above is just my interpretation as an engineer remembering his physics A’ levels from long ago, so if you want to establish the facts, do the research yourself from more legitimate sources! 🙂

  39. In reply to Dave (#46), there are usually a few on the northern end of the M6 – both vans on the bridges (especially around Shap), and on the M74 around Lockerbie.
    Generally I would agree, they’re more for cash than safety!

  40. I must be driving on the wrong roads in the rain cos I’ve seen a few.Who cares though?If you can’t drive lawfully then get off the road.You might think it’s only 5mph over, or whatever other feeble excuse you give to avoid responsibility, but it’s that kind of arrogance that ends up with you running into my car, or worse.Every fine given out by the police or their agents raises revenue as does speeding so why are you hung up on ‘revenue raising’.The fact is you make a choice to speed and the revenue that you volunteer is a consequence of you breaking the law.Seems fair enough to me.There’s so much myth created on these pages by a representative minority, namely, the law breakers.The majority of us don’t have a problem with the system because we worked out a foolproof way of beating the system.We SLOW DOWN!!!

    1. What Mike conveniently fails to mention is that the speed limit on so many roads has been artificially lowered over the last ten years or so, often by as much as 20mph, simply to raise revenue. For example the East London stretch of the A13, a three lane dual carriageway, was reduced to a ridiculous 40mph for several years until they installed average speed cameras last year. Hardly a single vehicle ever stuck to that totally inappropriate speed (except when passing the two Gatsos) and rightly so. If the stupid authorities really believed that 40mph was an appropriate limit why did they increase it to 50mph when the Gatsos were replaced? Even 50mph is far too low for a three lane dual carriageway. Artificial inappropriately low speed limits are widespread across the country and deserve to be treated with the contempt they deserve.

  41. @ 34 yet those thugs who break into houses and cause distress gets off with a warning??

    speeding cars do get away with it even when stopped just as do burglars, shop lifters,vandals etc etc

    I’ll change my view if someone directs us to stats showing that other detected crimes get less punishment meted out than for driving offences

  42. surely laser would be deflected by rain drops
    and radar has got to be affected by a large
    quantity of moving water affecting its accuracy(think).

  43. @Dave – If you haven’t seen many mobile traps recently you should take a trip to Scotland. I went up the A9 in December and 5 minutes after we saw a speed trap van on the southbound direction, there was another on the northbound direction.

    In fairness the A9 in parts is a very dangerous road, however those 2 speed traps were on safer dual carriageway sections of the road instead of the more dangers single lane sections…

    @Adam – you should add facebook, twitter, google+ (etc) share buttons to your blog

  44. Speed limits are a requirement of the StateThey should be observed as a maximum.It is safer to drive at 3 or 4 m.ph. below the limit.
    Unless travelling over 100 miles no saving in journey time is made. Often even when towing a caravan I am passed on the motorway by a fast car which then overtakes again having dashed into a service area.
    There is no point in hurrying. Things are no better if you get there earlier.

    The Sloth

  45. Hi Adam, no i’ve never seen them in bad weather or the dark, but no it’s not good to speed in bad conditions, heres a question for you, have you noticed how judges/magistrates no longer make their judgements on evidence provided by defendants, but only on what the POLICE say wether it’s true or not, IT’S TRUE WE NOW LIVE IN A POLICE STATE, NO LONGER A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY

  46. SLOTH @ 52

    and in fact, there’s a correlation between high speed / adrenaline / stress and early death / cancer

  47. Frank … thanks … what I mean by ‘hot start’ is does it switch on automatically when power is applied to it? ie. When you power up the car?

  48. Gatso’s are deemed legal by the time that they have been in position according to judge Mark ——-,in a recent court case. No speed camera has planning permission, local byelaws state that any busines must have planning permission to operate and advertise on the road side,a busines is a device that generates revenue,(WHAT IS REVENUE) fees, payments costs,fines,proffits, are some of the names used,NOW WHAT DO SPEED CAMERAS DO,one more thought for people to think on, I’ve spent more than 40yrs driving for a living all over europe and middle east inc scandinavia, russia, britian is the only country that persecutes drivers by doing them 6/7 times for one offence. MOTORIST of britian wake up united you can change this situation

  49. Have you noticed some car number plates angle at just the right degree for the police to “shoot off”. Maybe a degree or three towards the road service and maybe angled to the kerb, wold this give the motorist a mile or two edge?

  50. It’s been interesting reading this blog for drivers who think it’s legal to use a hand held mobile phone(No.16). It is NOT and which is why you can pick up 3 points and £60 fine. Unless you go to court when your fine is based on your salary plus other costs. Whats are worse are those who are sending/ reading a text. We have all seen them and they are a nuisance and endanger everyone around them. Who are worse the drivers in a high vaule cars/young drivers or granny? Try lorry drivers who wonder’s across the carriageway. How many of thenm are on a hand held? Interesting to note HGV and PSV friver are limited to £2,500 fine and private drivers £1,000. So take the ticket and save your day in court for something worth defending. If your going to use a phone get hands free or Blue tooth at least you have your hands free to drive.
    As far as speeding whilst it wet, the answer is NO. You should not be speeding in the dry even with unlimited visibilty and straight roads. The law states the maximum speed limit in this country is 70mph unless it’s reduced further by speed retrictions, permanent/temporary or by carrageway type or both ie. single carrageway is 60mph maximun. Or by the obvious you are in an urban area where it’s 30mph. Again repeaters will confirm the speed limit is above 30mph if it’s permitted. As far as police manning the camera vans they don’t. They are civilians working in partnership with the police in our county. What I am amazed with are those speeding driving who brake at Average speed cameras. Usually on motorways. Then continue as before? They miss the point of the word “Average” in the warning signs. These restrictions all have speed limits displayed and still continue to endager us all by excessive speed. They don’t work like a Gatso camera on Instant speed they use two or more sites which works out your average speed. Distance/time(Decimal hours)= Speed. The answer is don’t speed at all if you do, take the consequences. If your going to loose your licence then we will be better without you and safer. The roads are not race tracks and we all want to reach our destination safely. I do get fed up on hearing another driver got off due to a tecchnical reason. You are missing the point, your speeding and have been caught. You should slow down and stick to the limits which all law abidings driver stick to Speeding KILL and it may not be you! SLOW DOWN.

    1. So when, in a few years time after the Health & Safety Nazis that seem to undemocratically control transport policy have brought the speed limit down to 30mph on dual carriageways, you will expect me to abide by this because “it’s the law?”.

    2. Philip Mason (54). He didn’t say ‘hand held’ phone, it was ‘hands free’ and they prosecute you for using hands free in Kent.

      That said, I have a bluetooth set up and it is still distracting whilst you dial out but reasonably okay for receiving calls.

      But so many drivers today don’t indicate, don’t move over to the left on motorways, and don’t understand the law on the use of their lights. I was driving through Barnsley this week avoiding the multi-car pile up on the M62 in low mist and at least 25% of the local(?)drivers (including most taxi drivers and white-van men) had no lights on in very poor visibility and then out of the fog loomed a police car with no lights – I flashed him…..idiot.

      I have had a radar gun pointed at my car at night (10pm ish) in a 30 limit village near Louth by two policemen hiding in a graveyard – I was doing 30 mph!!! What a waste of police time.

      Last night after seeing so many cars with defective lights, I checked 100 cars and lorries and 24 had highly obvious defective lights, 3 had no brake lights and one, a brand new black Corsa (61 Reg) on the A1 North bound near Retford had no rear lights -I tried to attract the female driver to advise her but to no avail.

      How many people check their brake lights or realise that their parking lights (Range Rovers in particular) are useless for driving in poor/reduced visibility?

      No wonder we get motorway pile ups. But speed and you tend to get caught. It must be something to do with the ease of the paperwork.

  51. No 56. Not helpful. just think who you will be ringing when some-one has stolen your car, or damaged it by excessive speeding when your parked because they can’t control the car or Some-one is breaking into your relatives home? Who will most call? The police. Go back to whatever social site you normally use and use such lauguage there.

  52. Only time i ever saw one was when i was going away to the west country.It was parked in the usual cash generating position i.e halfway down a hill,but the guy was packing it up as i went past as it had just started raining,obviously prefered the warm comfy office until the warm sun came out again

  53. I`VE NEVER SEEN ONE WHEN IT`S RAINING, BUT AS I DRIVE FOR A LIVING I SOMETIMES SEE A CAMERA VAN PERCHED ON ONE OF THE BRIDGES ON THE A46,NEAR WARWICK.THIS ROAD IS IN COMPLETE DARKNESS. CRAFTY OR WHAT?

  54. its bad enough trying to stop a speeder in the dry, in the wet/icy its dangeruos for ALL, friend and foe alike.

  55. All this sanctimonious crap from the “Holier than Thou” people posting on this blog really P’s me off!

    They actually think that it is IMMORAL to speed safely. Well, here’s the news fellas…

    Speeding is breaking the law, not immoral. Consider say the law in Germany where there is no limit on certain autobahn stretches. I’ve worked in Germany for some time and can honestly say that travelling on their roads is far safer than in the UK. It is perfectly normal for cars to travel at over 140 mph, even in the wet , under light traffic conditions. The Germans are far better drivers than the UK normal because they are far more observant and considerate.

    The accident and death rates per car mile on Germany’s autobahns is very similar to that on UK motorways but they get there quicker and happier. What’s the problem with that?

  56. @56, the police don’t operate the cameras so your point is irrelevant to this topic.
    The simple thing is you only get caught if you are speeding. I got caught once, about 15 years ago, I took it on the chin and learned my lesson.
    You can bitch and moan as much as you like, but each time you take a gamble. Most of the time you win but sometimes you lose and are caught, or worse, have an accident.
    If a loved one of yours was mown down by a speeding motorist, would you really say “it’s ok, he was only speeding”?
    I doubt it somehow.

  57. I have never understood the argument that cameras are more to do with generating revenue, as if to say people are forced to speed. The reality is that male drivers are eight times more likely to kill or seriously injure someone than female drivers, and the reason they are is because they tend to drive faster and more aggressively (or are we supposed to believe that male drivers are some eight times more inattentive than female drivers!).

    And those who tell you speed/speeding is only a minor cause of fatal and serious injury collisions are liars. 40% of car occupant deaths, for example, happen in single vehicle collisions/crashes, and whilst some of them are due to the driver falling asleep, the vast majority of them are because the driver lost control precisely because they were driving much too fast.

  58. is it not still ilegal to park on pavements and grass verges or the law diffrent for speed vans as they are comiting an offence how can they send out tickets when commiting a roadbye way offence

  59. Adam,
    I’m all for speed cameras in the correct places, near schools, hospitals and dangerous road intersections. On my regular travelsdown the M4 I’ve noticed in the last6 months a lot less camera vans, both in England and Wales. If this the economic climate making the police reduce the use of the cash cow vans I’m very pleased.

  60. If you ever needed proof that so called Safety Cameras are for revenue earning , one only has to see where the one in Buckingham is situated.
    Approaching Buckingham from MK or Winslow one drives past a Large School with hundreds of Pupils- No Camera. Continue on into Town another 500? yards, down the Hill & surprise ,surprise ! a Camera !!

  61. In the south west camera vans are rarely seen, more likely an ANPR car looking for easy tugs. Driving standards are a serious issue and that needs to be looked at with a lot more importance than speeding revenue income. “Speed kills” for goodness sake, can’t those idiotic senior police people think about it, inappropriate speed more like.

  62. its all about revenue raising easy money is,nt it
    the parking enforcment cars are as bad but what can we do about it?

  63. Have seen the van at J15 M4 a few times after it has rained and a bit of drizzle is still about. Road spray could possibly affect the result as the water droplets will contain material that could affect the speed of the returned signal, and indicate a greater road speed

    they do not work 9 -5 seen them at 0800hrs and in the evening before it gets dark maybe as late as 2100hrs, cant say I have seen them in the dark though…could be the pubs are open then!

  64. Speed cams are not used ( or tend not to be used ) in the rain because like Gazza says in the comments above the beam that’s transmitted hits the rain droplets and can give a wrong reading of your speed – as for in the dark I have seen them operate at the side of the road from a black box with a cable going round the corner to the van !

  65. The idea that speed traps arent used because rain makes them innaccurate is ludicrous.
    80% of cameras returned for service (every 2 years) are innaccurate, add to this that officers operating them have no knowledge of approve ambient temp range etc. or that met silver paint causes wrong readings and the picture becomes clearer.
    “It’s all abouth the money money money” and since individual officers dont get extra pay for getting wet – they don’t bother.

  66. I am not surprised they don’t bother to go out in the rain even though the risk of accidents is so much higher. Why? Because the driver confidence these days is so poor that as soon as it rains the majority of drivers forget how to drive and bimble around so slowly because they have no idea how much grip they have or how hard they can brake – most put their rear fogs on and blind eberyone else.

  67. Hi Adam, happy new year to you. I agree with reply 1: was going to suggest ‘rain attenuation'(wrecks your sat.tv reception) and you should check factual basis for legal implication. A legal obligation to slow down in
    bad weather sounds reasonable to me as we already slow down, per annunciator, for any other reason. Regards, Norm.

  68. The use of The dreaded laser speed guns were actually banned from use in the U.S.A. because the rain affected the results.
    As the UK police reject proof from the U.S.A of anything that is detrimental to them collecting more cash from the downtrodden British motorist, I am also surprised that the mobile speed traps (OPs! sorry, I should say “Road Safety partnership vehicles” in the interests of political correctness) are not on the road during inclement weather.
    Perhaps it is too uncomfortable for the operatives in cold or wet weather to operate these so called “road safety Vans”, and we would not wish them to be uncomfortable whilst sqeeezing the last penny from us.

  69. I live near junction 10 of the M1. The police regularly set up a mobile camera in a layby by a set of traffic lights approxamately 200 yds from where the speed limit drops to 30mph.In the 35 years that I have lived here this has never been an accident blackspot or high risk area.Fund raising?? definately. Local council has also raised some kerbside parking fees by 20%. How many businesses can raise their fees by 20% in a time of recession??

  70. At Hungerford on the B4368 in rural Shropshire, the West Mercia Police Camera vans only seem to bother with their specially created layby on sunny spring, summer and autumn weekend mornings, when they can catch unwary bikers heading out from Birmingham and the Black Country for a weekend ride.

    My other ‘bête noire’ locally is going up the A49 Dinmore Hill, heading towards Hereford, which has an inexplicable 50mph limit on it, and therefore provides a regular supply of unwary punters for the seemingly ‘sunny days only’ camera van regularly parked in the layby halfway up.

  71. Doug says “That if you ever needed proof” that cameras “are for revenue raising”, and then gives the spurious example of there NOT being a camera outside a school in Buckingham, but 500 yards further on there is one. Are motorists forced to speed Doug?

    I have little doubt that Doug knows that before a camera can be installed at a particular site certain DfT criteria have to be met – ie that in the previous three years there were four collisions in which people were either killed or seriously injured. And I have little doubt that practically everyone else who subscribes to this site knows that too Doug! OK, so the DfT relaxed the criteria two or three years ago (due to years of campaigning by road safety groups and community groups that it was outrageous that people had to be killed and crippled first before a camera could be installed), but very few – if any – new static cameras have gone up since then.

  72. Most van operators work a fixed shift system, this includes operating in darkness and in poor weather. Usually the van’s speed meter uses laser light and in good weather the typical range is about 1km! In poor weather, they are still 100% accurate but the range can be reduced. There are special callibration checks and a Type-Approval process that confirm to the court that UK equipment is accurate! The long range of the equipmeent can allow a van to target offenders in a dangerous areas whilst operating from a safer location.

  73. Earlier this evening there was a news item on BBC London News about a fourteen-year old girl who was playing with her brother outside their house, and was hit and killed by a guy driving at 43mph in a 30mph limit when she ran into the road to retrieve a ball. I did some research and found the name of the road and then looked it up on google satellite. I had assumed it was most likely a residential street, but it turns out it’s a minor thoroughfare.

    In an article in the Croydon Guardian it says that: ‘The 35-year-old’s defence lawyer told the judge, Page [the driver] would not have been able to avoid hitting the schoolgirl even if he had been travelling at 30mph.’

    Maybe not! But she – Lillian Groves – would have had a much better chance of surviving her injuries if he had been. Kids will run into the road without looking sometimes – and maybe it was windy that day….and she didn’t hear him coming until it was too late – and we should all bear that in mind when driving in urban areas. Most of us know we should drive more slowly when it’s raining or the roads still wet (and at night as well), but very few people think about how they should drive more slowly in urban areas when there is a strongish or strong wind. I have little doubt that if someone did the research, they would find that more pedestrians (and cyclists too probably) are killed or seriously injured on windy days compared to days when there’s little or no wind.

  74. Hi there I stumbled on your page by mistake when i searched AOL for this concern, I must tell you your website is absolutely helpful I also really like the style, its good!

  75. Harry Greene (Post 76): Re the mobile unit you mention just off of Junction 10, would I be right in thinking that when they are operating there they erect warning signs to notify drivers?

    Neil (post 67) says:

    ‘“Speed kills” for goodness sake, can’t those idiotic senior police people think about it, inappropriate speed more like.’

    I think most reasonable and rational people will know who is and who isn’t idiotic, and it ISN’T senior police officers! Do you live in some kind of fantasy world Neil, because the rest of us – those of us that don’t have an anti-camera agenda – see speed merchants racing round our streets every day endangering peoples lives. But that’s the problem for the anti-camera fraternity isn’t it – ie they have no legitimate arguments so they have to resort to disinformation and ridicule and other such dispicable propaganda techniques.

    The reality is that none of you give a damn about the thousands of people who are killed and crippled and maimed each and every year, and the devastation and pain and heartbreak that it causes. But fortunately the ‘senior police people’ you refer to Neil DO, and they don’t pay a blind bit of notice to all the lies and distortions etc disseminated by the anti-camera lobby.

  76. Don’t rely on bad conditions to frighten off the mobile menace.
    Be especially careful in Cumbria and the North. Be very carefull of mobile vans on bridges. Last September while traveling south at (something)m.p.h. in torrential rain (sudden squal)the the cash cow was sitting on a bridge just as I cleared the top of the hill and commenced running toward them. Fortunatley, I saw them first and doing 68 mph did not get any letters.

    1. I’m trying to get my head round your logic Peter, but have concluded that because what you said is illogical it isn’t possible. Nothing you say makes “it obvious that speed traps are genuinely cash generating machines”. Are people forced to speed? Funny how not one single person on this forum has addressed that point.

      Anyway, moving on, there are several aspects to speed cams (and the fines and the penalty points) that contribute towards reducing the number of fatal and serious injury collisions. Primarily they slow speeders down, but just as important is the deterrent effect of someone having six or nine points on their licence, because THEY are much more likely to stay within the speed limits most of the time. And there’s been a million plus of them during the past five years or so, and just look at how the number of road deaths has fallen during that time, from 3,172 in 2006 to 1,850 in 2010, around a 40% drop (with only a 3 or 4% drop in traffic volume during the same period.)

      I expect just about all the people who subscribe to this website are aware of the 10%+2mph allowance; certainly the anti-camera propagandists are. But the propagandists are also aware that most people AREN’T, and so they spread the Big Lie that numerous motorists are being “criminalised” and “persecuted” for slipping a couple of mph over the speed limit. The reality is that the average speed of people caught speeding in 30mph limits, for example, is 39mph.

      The fact that most people are not aware of the 10%+2mph threshold – and have in fact been led to believe there is no threshold by the propagandists and that untold numbers are getting done for slipping a couple of mph over the posted limit – is no doubt the reason why nobody addresses my key point/question – ie ‘Are people forced to speed?’.

  77. Generally speaking a safty conscious driver will travel at lower speeds,(than the
    speed limit would demand),in adverse conditions hence making it obvious that speed traps are genuinely cash generating machines and are nothing to do with road safety as the propanganda would have us believe.

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  79. Could not agree more.
    Had a very serious accident last year due to the rain and my speed, which would not have occurred on a dry night. The car skidded in moments and hit the barrier.
    The fines system has targets like any other business and it is obvious that it is all about revenue (rather than safety).
    I do not condone speeding and speed can kill, but speed traps should be more prevalent during hazardous whether conditions or why bother at all. Great job guys. x

  80. Speed cameras are nice little earners.

    I would say it breaks down to 60% safety 40% revenue generator, and at some locations 90% revenue generator.

    Not seen any cameras used in very wet conditions.

    They might say it could cause an accident as people slam on when they are spotted, and therefore they would get bad press, sad really as driving fast in the wet is potentially dangerous.

    It does therefore render the whole process as rather futile

  81. agree with this totally it all about the money just like the new motorway cams in the variable section fake incidents etc

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