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How to tell the difference between UK traffic cameras and spot those that could fine you

There won’t be many motorists who won’t spot the camera on the side of the road and immediately check if they’re going a little too fast.

But Not all traffic cameras are the sameand some are not even there to record your speed.

    Not all roadside cameras are used to catch speeding drivers

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Not all roadside cameras are used to catch speeding driversCredit: Getty – Contributor

According to data from more than 40 UK police forces, just over half of all fixed speed cameras are in active use, with plenty of surveillance equipment out there for crime tracking, traffic management or simply is data collection.

For your peace of mind, it pays to know what each camera is there for – so be aware of the ones that don’t try to catch you, and who will see you fined.

Read on to see different types of speed cameras on UK roadsand how they work.

Fixed speed camcorder

    The Gatsometer BV camera is designed purely for speed measurement

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The Gatsometer BV camera is designed purely for speed measurementCredit: Alamy

The Gatso is the most popular speedometer in the UK and has been around since 1992 – but there are different types of fixed speed readers available.

Commonly found in construction areas and on motorways, the camera is fully fixed there to ensure drivers comply with the speed limit.

Driving past one of these places will be quicker than you should, and you will no doubt be fined.

Medium speed camera

    SPECS cameras will not immediately speed you up if you pass a person over the speed limit.

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SPECS cameras will not immediately speed you up if you pass a person over the speed limit.Credit: PA: Press Association

Called the SPECS camera, They measure your speed for distances from 200m to 10km.

Using license plate recognition, they measure how long it takes you to get from camera A to camera B, then check that against the average time it would take if you were driving at the speed limit .

If your time exceeds the time limit, you will be fined £100 and awarded three penalty points – even if you were traveling below the speed limit at the point you passed the camera.

Last year we broke myths surrounding fixed speed cameras.

CCTV of the Highway Authority

    The gray cameras on the highway are used purely for surveillance

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The gray cameras on the highway are used purely for surveillanceCredit: Alamy

Highways Agency cameras are all over the country, but they’re not there to spot dangerous drivers.

Small gray cameras are used to manage traffic flow and help monitor accidents and incidents on main roads.

They are simply used for observation and are not equipped with speed radar or license plate recognition systems.

CCTV cameras are most commonly found on motorways and major roads.

Bus lane camera

    Cameras on bus lanes often have signs reminding drivers

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Cameras on bus lanes often have signs reminding driversCredit: Getty – Contributor

Smaller, more discreet cameras, these are there to catch car drivers driving in dedicated bus lanes.

They usually look similar to CCTV cameras and will record your registration if you are driving in the red lane at the wrong time.

Driving in a bus lane usually receives a Notice of Penalty of £90.

ANPR police

    License plate recognition used to fight organized crime

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License plate recognition used to fight organized crimeCredit: ANPR.org

Police Automatic License Plate Recognition Cameras are used to fight crime – but not the usual traffic violations you might think.

They collect car registration data to track down offenders linked to local crime, organized crime, or even potentially terrorist-related activities.

They can also warn officers if a vehicle without MOT, taxes or insurance is used on public roads.

While they may not arrest you for speeding, they can certainly track down lawbreakers on a wide range of crimes.

Mobile camera

    Police can place mobile speed traps anywhere and at any time of the day

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Police can place mobile speed traps anywhere and at any time of the day

Whether hand-held or truck-mounted, mobile police radars are absolutely there to catch speeding car drivers.

They can appear at any location that the police deem appropriate and operate 24/24.

Highway Authority ANPR Camera

    Highways England uses fixed green cameras to collect travel data

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Highways England uses fixed green cameras to collect travel dataCredit: RAC

Similar to police ANPR cameras, those operated by Highways England are not available for speeding.

Fixed green cameras are used to determine the level of traffic and the duration of the journey.

Although the cameras use a vehicle’s registration to collect data, license plate readings are not stored and no pictures of the car or the driver are taken.

Traffic light camera

    Camera red light flashes if they catch you breaking the law

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Camera red light flashes if they catch you breaking the lawSource: Collins Photo Agency

Traffic light cameras catch motorbike drivers running red lights.

They spotted cars crossing the stop line before the light was red.

If you are caught, the camera will usually flash when taking a picture of your car and you will be fined £100.

Earlier this year, we reported how motorists could be fined even when they had stopped in front of the lights.

And new “speed on green” camera being used to catch fast-paced motorcyclists trying to get through traffic lights before they change.

Sometimes it goes wrong – with drivers talking about their tantrums in September After police admitted some were wrongly fined after a speed camera malfunctioned.

Campaigners say thousands of motorists may have been asked to pay – despite doing nothing wrong – thanks to a fault with Gatso in Southampton, Hampshire.

NS Camera limited to 30mph in Maybray King Way caught a staggering 51,049 people driving over the legal limit between 2015 and 2017, revenue of more than £5 million.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/motors/6281048/traffic-speed-cameras-fine-speeding-uk/ How to tell the difference between UK traffic cameras and spot those that could fine you

Caroline Bleakley

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