Ford ST/RS Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Speeding Fact Sheet [/color]

First of all, this fact sheet is not meant to start yet another speeding debate on MEG. It is designed to answer a lot of commonly asked questions about laws regarding speeding, how limits are enforced and what happens after someone has been caught. The information contained here is, to the best of my knowledge, factual however it is only meant as a guide, proper legal advise should always be sought if you intend to contest a speeding allegation. I or MEG are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained in this post.

The law

The laws regarding speeding are on the whole quite complex. However it is mainly governed by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (RTRA 1984). This has been amended by several other pieces of legislation since. Basically the relevant parts of the act set out speed limits for types of roads and types of vehicles. The important bit is:-

Sec 89(1) RTRA 1984

A person who drives a motor vehicle on a road at a speed exceeding a limit imposed by or under any enactment to which this section applies shall be guilty of an offence.

Taken in to context with the rest of the act it means that speeding on a road with a limit or in a class of vehicle is an offence. I.e. doing 40mph in a 30mph limit or doing 70mph in a coach on a dual carriageway. Other parts of the act cover contravening motorway speed limits, minimum speed limits and temporary speed limits. See below for speed limits.


Speed Enforcement

Ok, so now we what laws govern speed limits lets look at now the most contentious issue, enforcement. Most police forces have different policies with regards to how speed limits are enforced. Most if not all now have "safety camera partnerships" these partnerships generally consist of the police, local council, NHS and fire brigade. The partnerships and how they place cameras is regulated by the Department For Transport (DFT) the guidelines are set out below:-

[color:"blue"] Safety Cameras [/color]
It is a myth that the money raised by cameras goes to the police. Under the Safety Camera Funding Scheme, only the cost of maintaining and administering the cameras is retained the surplus goes straight to the Exchequer. There are also strict guidelines about the visibility of safety cameras (see paragraphs below) and rules that govern the selection of new camera sites . It is not in the interests of local authorities or the police to place cameras where they can not be seen, or do not help to reduce casualties.

[color:"red"] The Safety Camera Funding Scheme [/color]
The funding scheme that allows some fine revenue to be re-invested in camera activity was made available nationally on 13 August 2001. This followed a pilot scheme in eight police force areas that was so successful a decision was made to go ahead with national roll-out before the completion of the trial. In order to take part in the scheme police areas must work with the local authorities, the police and courts. The Safety Camera Funding Scheme (sometimes referred to as 'netting off') now covers the majority of police areas in the country and it is hoped that eventually the scheme will cover the whole country.
Guidelines for the placement of safety cameras:
There are clear guidelines covering where and how safety cameras should be placed, and measures to be taken to ensure drivers are aware of them. It is a responsibility of each safety camera partnership to ensure that the location details of fixed cameras are available to both the public and local media.
In December 2001 additional guidelines were introduced insisting that all safety cameras within the Safety Camera Funding Scheme should be bright yellow to ensure maximum visibility. Full details of the guidelines can be found in Press Notice 517 issued 3 December 2001(see link below)
The following guidelines must be considered for the location of each speed camera:

[color:"red"] Prominence of fixed site enforcement cameras (including digital cameras): [/color] The camera housings in most circumstances should be yellow. No alternative colours will be accepted. However, if for any reason highway authorities consider that there are special circumstances, for example in areas of outstanding natural beauty, then exceptions can be considered.

[color:"red"] Visibility of fixed site enforcement cameras (including digital cameras): [/color] Al camera housings (existing and new) should be visible to road users and not obscured behind bridges, signs, trees or bushes. The minimum visibility distance should be 60 metres where the speed limit is 40 mph or less and 100 metres for all other limits.

[color:"red"] Visibility of Mobile enforcement sites: [/color] Camera operatives at the mobile camera sites should wear fluorescent clothing and abide by all Health and Safety requirements. Vehicles should be clearly marked as camera enforcement vehicles with reflective strips (uniquely identifying them as speed camera enforcement vehicles). Covert operations can in exceptional circumstances be allowed but must be recorded by the partnership.

[color:"red"] Signing: [/color] Camera warning and speed limit reminder signs must be placed in advance of fixed or mobile speed enforcement taking place. Ideally these should be placed within 1 km of fixed camera housings and at the beginning of a targeted route for mobile enforcement sites. Signs must only be placed in areas where camera housings are present or along routes where mobile enforcement will be targeted.

[color:"red"] Communications: [/color] The location of both fixed and mobile cameras should be well publicised via local web-sites, public sector announcements on radio stations and in local newspapers.

[color:"red"] Sign design: [/color] Signs must comply with those specified in Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions or specially authorised by DfT.
Site review: Each site must be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that conditions on prominence, visibility and signing have not changed or do not require alteration.

Re-investment of speeding fines
Safety camera partnerships are not there to raise money and neither the police nor the local authority receive any money from the operation of safety cameras. Strict Treasury rules mean that any money from fines that is returned to the safety camera partnerships can only be spent on the operational costs of their camera network, including new cameras where the need can be identified. All remaining money goes to the Treasury, it does not stay with the Partnership.

The above can be download as a word document here:-

Guidelines on camera placement can be downloaded here:-

These guidelines apply only to the safety camera partnerships. Police officers can and do carry out speed enforcement checks outside of those partnerships. The rules governing such enforcement are usually under local force policy. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) set out prosecution guide lines for speed enforcement they can be found in this word document:-

[color:"red"] Important:- Bear in mind that all of the above are guidelines only. If you are caught speeding and these guidelines have been breached then that does not negate the original offence and you can still be prosecuted. They are exactly as they say �guidelines�. [/color]

[color:"blue"] Types of fixed camera. [/color]

There are three main types of fixed camera, Gatso, SPECS and Truveleo. Here is a little bit about each one.

[color:"blue"] Gatso [/color]

Probably the most common speed camera. It can work in two ways, either radar on inductive loops in the road surface. The speed at which it is triggered can be set manually, normally (although not always) with in the ACPO guidelines. When it detects an offence it takes two photos about half a second apart. These photos are then used in conjunction with the painted white lines on the road surface. This can then be used against the data provided by the camera to discount a faulty reading. At this time Gatso cameras only work from behind, if it is triggered by a car driving towards it, it is recorded as a faulty reading.

There is a new trend of modifying the Gatso casing and adding a false front to the back of the camera. This is primarily used on cameras positioned in central reservations. It is almost impossible to see which way the true camera is facing. Due to the lack of space in the box it is not possible to have two cameras inside.

[color:"blue"] Truvelo forward facing cameras. [/color]


A fairly new type of camera. Designed to combat the use of the defence "wasn't me driving". This system works by using imbedded Piezo-electric axle sensors in the road surface. These can be seen in this photo inside the orange box.


When a vehicle passes over the sensors it measures the time the axles take to travel between them (fractions of a second) this give a very accurate speed read of the vehicle. It then takes a single photo when it calculates the front wheels will be on the three white lines painted on the road surface.


Sample photo


The vehicle with its front tyres within the three white lines will always be the offending vehicle.

The camera uses a single magenta flash, this is designed to cause minimal distraction and dazzle to the driver.


The flash is emitted from the larger of the two circles. The smaller one is the camera.

These cameras only work from the front so are useless against motorbikes. There is mention of a rear facing camera on Truvelo's website so they maybe some out there.

[color:"blue"] S.P.E.C.S


SPECS is made by a UK company called SPEeed Check Services hence S.P.E.C.S. It works by using an automatic number plate reading system (ANPR). There are two cameras on a stretch of road a measured distance apart. When vehicles pass through the first camera the ANPR reads and videos the number plate. It then measures the time it takes to get to the second camera. The average speed over the distance is calculated and if it is over the set limit then the offence data is recorded digitally. A very simple and effective system.
These are probably one of the rarest speed enforcement systems. There have been a lot of recent hoaxes about where these cameras are installed. Many people believed the new electronic information signs being installed by the highways agency incorporated SPECS. This is not the case, if you are entering an area covered by SPECS there will be signs telling you.

[color:"red"] Speed enforcement vans. [/color]


Probably the most unpopular face of speed enforcement. I think every police force now operate these in one form or another. Usually manned by a single operator, either civilian or police officer. They are equipped with a vehicle mounted laser device. They work by firing a stream of laser at a targeted vehicle. The device then measures the time the light takes to reflect back. It is a complicated system and different devices work differently. But they can measure the speed of a vehicle 40 times in a quarter of a second. They are fitted with a camera which then takes a digital image of any offences. The operator then downloads the data at the end of a shift and NIP's (covered later) are sent out automatically. Generally you will receive an NIP within a couple of days of being caught.

Handheld speed detection devices

These are the old traditional method of speed enforcement. There are two types, radar and laser. Usually operated by police officers, often traffic or road safety units working separately from safety camera partnerships.

In-car video.

Most traffic cars are fitted with this type of device. It's manually operated by either the driver or passenger of the police car. When following a vehicle which the officer suspect is going over the limit they operate the device, it is not on all the time. It works by measuring the time a vehicle takes to travel between two fixed points (usually bridges or lamp posts). They can also use special markings painted on the road (the white squares or diamonds often seen in the middle of the carriageway).

[color:"red"] See below for NIP's [/color]

[color:"red"] Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) [/color]

So you have set off a speed camera or gone past a speed enforcement van? Now you are worried about what happens next?

The law.

The police have a legal requirement to inform someone that they are being prosecuted for certain motoring offences. This is called a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP). The legislation covering this aspect of the law is covered under the following act.

Sec1 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

Certain offences can only be prosecuted if the following is carried out:-

The defendant must have been warned of the possibility of that prosecution at the time of the offence.

The defendant must have been served with a summons (or charged) with in 14 days of the offence.

A notice setting out the possibility of that prosecution must have been sent to the driver or registered keeper of the vehicle with in 14 days of the offence.

Relevant offences

Dangerous, careless or inconsiderate driving.
Dangerous, careless or inconsiderate cycling.
Failing to comply with traffic signs and directions.
Leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position.
Speeding offences.

In laymans terms you must be informed at the time or within 14 days of committing an offence. If it is not at the time then it has to be in writing. You can be given a verbal NIP up to 7 days after an offence.

Written NIP

This what you will receive in the post with in the 14 days.

An example of a written NIP can be downloaded here:-

How are they sent?

NIP's used to have to be sent by registered or recorded delivery. This is no longer the case. They can now be sent by normal post. It is up to the defence to prove that it was not sent, it is not a defence to say you did not receive it. If it arrives after the 14 days then you MAY have a defence.

As long as the NIP has been sent to the registered keeper or to the last known address of the owner/keeper with in 14 days then the law has been complied with. Therefore if it is a company vehicle then sending it to that company is enough.

Information request.

Under sec 172 of the road traffic act the police can request to know who was the driver of a vehicle at the time of an offence. It is a separate offence to not provide that information. You have 28 day in which to comply with the request.

Whoever receives the form - the registered keeper of the vehicle as provided by the DVLA - must fill in their name and address. The person receiving the form is given the opportunity to say whether it was someone else driving, if it was a vehicle hire car or the car was owned by someone else at the time of the offence. a new NIP will be issued to the person who has been identified as the driver

An example of an information request can be found here:-

Conditional offer.

If your speed is within certain parameters then you may be given a conditional offer. Those parameter are usually in line with the ACPO guidelines on speeding prosecutions. These can be downloaded here:-

They are not set in stone. Some forces are more lenient and some are stricter.

A conditional offer is either sent out with the NIP or is sent once the NIP has been replied to with the drivers details. The offer will be a fine of £60 (I believe admin costs can now be added) and three points on your licence. You must send your licence with the offer and payment. If you don't the offer will be with drawn and you will receive a summons.

Example of a conditional offer

The offer will not apply if you have 9 or more points on your licence. Or 3 or more for drivers within two years of passing their test


If your speed is over the guideline limit or 3 points will take you over the totting up rule then you will receive a summons to court. You must receive that summons with in six months of the date of the offence. If you don't then the case will be withdrawn. (this does not apply if you do a runner).

Court penalties.

There are guidelines as to what penalties a court can give out. It is all dependant on what speed you were doing in relation to the limit.You can be fined, receive a fine and point or get a period of disqualification. Highly excessive speeds can be tried as dangerous driving wich can result in a prison sentence and or a very lengthy ban.

Below are some useful links covering all angles.

[color:"blue"] Links [/color]

[color:"red"] Official organisations [/color]

This site is the national safety camera liaison site. From here you can click on a map and link to the safety camera partnership for your area. Most of these websites then have locations of cameras and information on where their vans are operating. A very useful site.

Department for transport road safety page. You can find information here about government policies on speed enforcement.

Parliamentary advisory council for transport safety

Driving standards agency

[color:"red"] Pro driver and anti speed camera sites [/color]

Association of British Drivers

Uk speed trap guide


Speed camera sites

Pepipoo. Website about trying to get off a speeding ticket

Speed trap bible

[color:"red"] Police links [/color]

Association of chief police officers. The organisation who set down policies on how police forces operate. most of the policies are published on the site.

links to most of the countries police forces and other information.

Crown prosecution service

Independant police complaints commission.

[color:"red"] Law Links [/color]

Road Traffic Act 1988
Road traffic offenders act 1988
Road traffic act 1991

[color:"red"] Road safety Organisations [/color]


Road peace

Institute of road safety officers

Road safety website

[color:"red"] Driving organisations [/color]

Guild of experienced motorists

Institute of advanced motorists.

[color:"red"] Speed camera manufactures [/color]





1 - 1 of 1 Posts