Faulty Speed Camera – Everything You Need To Know
Have you been given a speeding fine? Are you wondering if you should pay it or if you can make an appeal? You’re in the right place to find answers to these questions.
Every month, over 130,000 people visit our website for guidance on fines and parking tickets. We’re experts in this area, and we’re here to help you.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Do you have to pay the fine?
- How do drivers get caught speeding?
- What are your rights when it comes to speed cameras in the UK?
- How to prove if a speed camera is faulty?
- Can you appeal a speed camera fine and how to win?
Some of us have also received speeding fines in the past, so we truly understand how you might be feeling right now. Let’s find out more about how you can handle this situation.
Do You Have to Pay Speeding Fines?
In some circumstances, you might have a legitimate reason not to pay your speeding fine.
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Can a speed camera be wrong?
Fixed Gatso speed cameras are estimated to be accurate within one mile per hour and other types of fixed road cameras are estimated to be even more accurate. Therefore these speed cameras can be wrong but only marginally and traffic camera reliability is generally considered accurate.
The Gatso method of taking two photographs to show a distance covered within a specific timeframe is a highly accurate way of calculating how fast a vehicle was travelling.
However, there have been limited cases when motorists have argued a faulty speed camera and their challenge has been successful when speed camera calibration has been investigated.
Drivers rights when it comes to speed cameras in the UK
The guidelines from the Department for Transport around UK traffic laws say this about speed camera regulations UK:
- Speed cameras must sit in a yellow housing.
- The housing itself should be visible and not obscured by trees or bushes.
- You should be able to see the speed camera from 60 metres away in a 40 mph zone, or 100 metres for all other zones.
- Signs should be placed in areas where there are visible camera housings – but this isn’t mandatory.
- Every camera site should be reviewed every six months. This is to make sure they’re visible and properly marked.
If you’re caught by a camera that doesn’t meet these conditions, you can’t use it as a defence for speeding. You could get fines and penalty points even if the speed camera doesn’t meet these conditions.
Mobile speed cameras also have rules on their positioning and appearance:
- Mobile speed camera operators should be visible and wear fluorescent clothing. Their vehicles should be marked with reflective strips too
- Signs should be placed in areas where mobile cameras are operating – but this isn’t mandatory
- Like fixed speed cameras, mobile speed camera sites should be reviewed every six months
If you get caught by a mobile speed camera that doesn’t meet these rules, you won’t be able to use this as a defence.
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Scott’s fine was cancelled and he only paid £5 for the legal help.
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What is a faulty speed camera?
A faulty speed camera is a speed camera that doesn’t register the correct speed of vehicles with the accuracy that’s expected.
For example, if a Gatso speed camera was recording vehicle speeds outside of the one mile per hour margin, it could be considered a faulty speed camera.
How can you prove a faulty speed camera?
It can be difficult to prove a faulty speed camera because the police don’t have to release their evidence to you unless the matter goes to court.
And if you do end up taking the matter to court, you could be hit with a bigger fine than you otherwise would have had to pay.
However, occasionally, it does happen that speed cameras have been found to be faulty, as shown below.
How to report a faulty speed camera (UK)?
If you suspect a faulty speed camera, you can report it to different groups. You can report suspected faulty speed cameras to National Highways and Transport for London among others. They will look into the matter and keep you updated on their findings.
Faulty speed camera reports are made public online.
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Can I appeal a speed camera fine?
After receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice you’re given 28 days to make the payment and accept the punishment or appeal the fine. However, contesting a speed camera fine is considered risky because the matter will be decided in court.
You will lose your appeal if you can be proven to be travelling above the speed limit at all for any brief moment. Some exceptions are when you can definitely prove a faulty speed camera (which would be difficult) or that your car had been stolen. Your legal defense against speeding tickets wil rely on evidence.
In the end, allowing the matter to progress to court can result in a much greater fine.
What are the consequences of a speed camera fine UK?
The amount you’re fined depends on what the speed limit was and how much over it you were driving. It’s usually a percentage of your weekly income, up to a maximum of £1,000 (£2,500 if you were driving on a motorway). You could also be disqualified from driving or have your licence suspended. Typically, disqualification or suspension happens when a driver accumulates 12 or more penalty points within three years. You will almost certainly see a significant increase in your insurance premiums as well.
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How much is a fine for speeding?
Speeding fines can range from 25% to 700% of your weekly income depending on how much you were speeding. However, speeding fines are capped at £1,000 on normal roads and £2,500 on motorways and there is a minimum penalty for speeding in the UK, which is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your license.
Do speed cameras flash even if you are not speeding?
Speed cameras will typically only flash when you’ve been caught speeding. However, there are multiple comments in online forums about speed cameras flashing when the motorist is adamant they were below the speed limit, asking many people about camera activation triggers.
As mentioned, some types of speed cameras don’t flash at all. So you might not see a flash but still be caught speeding.
Do speed cameras have a margin of error?
Some sources state that speed cameras offer drivers a small margin for error to account for possible inaccuracies when measuring their speed.
These sources suggest a speed camera will not identify you as speeding unless you’re travelling 10% + 2 miles above the speed limit.
The 10% margin is included to account for differences between the camera’s speed and your speed. And the additional two miles are included to account for vehicle speedometers. Manufacturers of vehicles often set these at two miles above your real speed to encourage slower driving.
But the above information is contested by other sources. There are sources which say the above information, which is published widely online, is in fact a myth – and that all speeding is speeding.
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If you’re thinking about appealing your speeding fine then getting some professional advice is a good idea.
Getting the support of a Solicitor can make your appeal much more likely to win.
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