Speed Camera Myths

There are many speed camera myths out there that we wish were true. Some of these myths are downright false whereas there is a little truth to some of them. If you’ve been wondering which myths are true read on.

Some Speed Cameras are Switched Off

Some Freedom of Information requests have revealed that some speed cameras are not completely operational. Speed cameras have been made to catch those who break the speed limit. Speed cameras tend to catch speeding drivers more than police officers with mobile cameras do.

To be Caught Speeding you need to be travelling at 10% over the speed limit plus an extra 2mph

The law states that you need should expect to be given a speeding ticket if you exceed the speed limit by 1mph.

However, The National Police Chiefs Council state that police officers do not look to prosecute a driver unless they have broken the speed limit by 10 per cent plus 2mph. Officers can work with discretion and they can act outside the law, so to speak. However, this does not mean that a road user should actively and purposefully break the speed limit.

Slowing Down for a speed camera and then speeding up means you won’t be caught

This depends on the type of camera being used.

Average speed cameras are used to prevent dangerous driving such as this. Some drivers may be caught speeding as the camera operates in a slightly different way to fixed cameras.

Travelling faster than the speed limit can be dangerous and we advise drivers to stick to the speed limit. Of course they should also drive in accordance with the conditions of the road.

If you drive very fast you will not trigger a speed camera

The only way that you can avoid triggering a speed camera is to drive within the speed limit. If you travel very fast you will trigger a speed camera. You could also find yourself with a notice of intended prosecution.

Speed cameras have to be painted yellow for them to be legal


The British government announced plans for every speed camera in England to be painted yellow. However, if you are caught speeding by a grey camera in the meantime you will still be charged with speeding. Even when it has been announced that all speed cameras are painted yellow you should still drive within the speed limit. In addition to it making our roads safer a few speed cameras may have been missed, deliberately or not.

Most average speed cameras don’t work

Average speed cameras are supposedly in place to to prevent people from driving dangerously. Average speed cameras can enforce a speed limit over a long stretch of road. This can help to prevent drivers from speeding up again once they have passed the camera.

You must be notified that you were caught speeding within a certain amount of time

The law states that a driver who has been caught speeding by a speed camera as opposed to a police officer must be sent an NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) within 14 days. The individual who owns the vehicle will be sent the notice.

You can ask to attend a speed awareness course

You should be informed by the police if you are eligible to attend a speed awareness course. If a speed awareness course is held and you have not been invited, drivers commonly believe that it is not available.

However the Lawyers we use have been able to request one on Members behalf in the past – successfully on many occasions!

You can attend a speed awareness course on more than one occasion

If you have been caught speeding for the 2nd time you might be invited to attend a speed awareness course depending on how severe your offence was. However, if you were caught speeding within 3 years of your first awareness course you will not be able to attend another one.

You do not have to declare that you attended a speed awareness course on your insurance

If you fail to mention that you have been on a speeding awareness course your insurance policy could be deemed invalid. This is especially the case if you were to make a claim. You should be aware that local police forces hold information about who has been on such a course.

A speed camera can catch you if you’re on a bicycle or a horse

It is very unlikely that a cyclist or someone travelling on a non-motorised form of transport would be caught. This is because they are unlikely to be travelling above the speed limit. British law only covers motor or mechanically propelled vehicles. If cyclists (ravelling on mechanically propelled vehicles) taking part in the Tour de Yorkshire, for example, were to go over the speed limit they would not be fined.

Speed cameras have been installed to make money

According to the Government, Speed cameras are there to save lives rather than collect money for local police forces. They say that travelling too fast contributes to 25% of all crashes and the implied assumption is that speed cameras contribute to preventing this.

Their position is that Speed cameras are there to save lives.

Others claim that speed cameras — “smart motorway” speed cameras in particular — in fact cause accidents due to drivers braking heavily when the speed limit changes.