Cars on Film
It will come as no surprise to hear that speeding (in cars) is the most common motoring offence in Britain today. The fact that it is by far and away the easiest to police, is presumably the reason, though the term “police” is probably more accurately described as “auto-monitored”.
The police are still in occasional evidence at some “speed traps”, or as they are now known “safety enforcement zones”. Hand-held radar or laser guns, and van mounted cameras do patrol some notorious stretches of road, but for the most part the job is now almost fully automated.
It began in 1992 with the Gatso fixed position camera. This radar activated device scans traffic as it moves away from it, and calculates its speed. If it is over the designated limit, it takes a series of pictures of the rear of the vehicle.
The computer will work out what type of vehicle it is by its length, i.e. car, car and trailer, or HGV as they all have differing speed limits. The photographs are taken with a powerful flash attachment which is why they are of the rear of the vehicle, as the flash could startle or even briefly blind the driver.
The pictures are taken as the vehicle passes over white lines painted on the road surface. The lines are spaced at the equivalent of 5 mph each. Should there be any discrepancy over the radar reading claim, then the lines give a secondary proof of speed by use of simple mathematical deduction.
Soon to accompany Gatso adorning our road sides came Truvelo. A similar looking box on a post, but one with the lens forward facing, towards the oncoming vehicles. This is because the camera in the device is illuminated with a flash that occurs in infra-red, which is invisible to the human eye.
The camera is activated by vehicles speeding over sensors buried in the approaching stretch of road. The picture taken is of the front of the vehicle, clearly showing who is behind the wheel. There are also the obligatory white lines on the road surface, which can enable a secondary measurement of speed. If you have been caught and have received a notice of intended prosecution in the post, it’s a good idea to get the evidence against you checked as many alleged offences can be dismissed at this stage if the evidence isn’t compliant with legality. Ask Patterson Law to check your NIP today & see if they can get your allegation dismissed for you.
As the costs of various hi-tech camera and recording systems have come down many variations of “safety” cameras are now in use, from average speed control cameras to variable speed multi-lane smart motorway cameras.
Avoiding having one’s picture taken is becoming more of a lottery than attempted strict adherence to the rules should give.