The number of people each month getting caught for speeding seems to be increasing. And one of the reasons for this jump is the tech being used to catch drivers. The latest LTI Laser 2020 speed camera can catch a driver in just 0.03 seconds, working from up to 1,000 metres away and even has infrared to work at night.

High tech trap

The modern speed camera is a high-tech trap to catch drivers breaking the rules. The cameras can operate in any conditions and have a number of special filters that enable them to work in poor weather. The camera works in just 0.03 seconds so that by the time you have come around the corner and spotted the van, it has already clocked your speed and your details. And you’re still not safe from them at night as they have infrared facilities to allow them to take shots in the dark.

Details of the workings of these high-tech cameras came from an interview with a Camera Technician Enforcement Officer in the Grimsby Telegraph and gave a great deal of insight into the process of recording speeds. Known only as ‘Tommy’ the officer said that he would prefer not to catch anyone and that there is no quota regarding the number of people they must catch per day or even week.

Busy work

During the interview, the camera was located on the A18 Barton Street in Grimsby and quickly caught a speeder who was doing 62mph in a 50mph zone. A change of location to the Laceby roundabout nearby saw another two people caught, one doing 59mph and the other 67mph. The camera does have a tolerance of 10% plus 2mph, but all of these drivers will be receiving a fine and points.

We all hate getting caught speeding and some people take a more active role in trying to avoid the fine. One man tried to reach through the window to grab the speed camera – Tommy said that he always keeps the doors locked.

During the three hours that the reporter was with the officer, there were a total of 19 drivers who were caught exceeding the speed limit by enough to get them a fine and points and all of the footage is stored securely so there’s no chance that it can be altered.

Average speed cameras

While vans are the visible sign of speed enforcement, another type of camera is becoming increasingly popular around the UK – the average speed camera. One of the roads to recently receive their cameras is the A55 in North Wales. The cameras were put in place when drivers were found to be frequently breaking the 70mph limit on the road.

The cameras between J30 and J28 are temporary at the moment but there is talk that they could be permanent. They are one of two sets of such cameras in the region with the other on the A541 in Flintshire. They show the new face of speed enforcement that means you don’t need an enforcement officer constantly operating them.

These cameras are set 200 metres apart along a stretch of road at regular intervals in a managed speed control zone. Cameras have a date and time stamp as well as automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) which allows the computer to work out your average speed between the cameras. This then triggers the automatic fine to be sent. People think they are limited to working through the day but like the mobile speed cameras, they are also fitted with filters to work in all weathers and work at night with infrared tech built in.

Digital cameras on the street

The final other major development in speed cameras is the use of digital speed cameras on streets around the country. The new cameras have recently been added to streets around Swansea and replace the former systems which still used a 35mm ‘wet’ film. The problem with this system was that the film would run out and this would see an increase in speeding in the area.

The new cameras will be used to send out Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) for minor offences while larger offences can lead to a prosecution. If you break the speed limit by more than 30mph and are caught by the cameras, you could face being disqualified from driving. The switch to digital speed cameras is being rolled out across the country.

Spectre of speeding

None of us like to drive along a road and see a speed camera van with its tell-tale camera facing towards us. And there’s nothing worse than receiving that letter through the post telling us we have been caught. With new technology improving the reliability and sensitivity of the cameras, it does seem that the only way to be sure to avoid a fine is to avoid speeding – full stop.

Have you been caught by a speed camera in a van? Did you know how quick a speed camera could catch you? We’d love to hear your experiences!