Speed Cameras

Rules and regulations for speed cameras

In 2001 the law was changed so that speed cameras had to be painted yellow to ensure visibility. Many other rules were also brought in regarding speed cameras.

The regulations decree that:

  • Speed camera housings must be coloured yellow
  • Camera housings cannot be obscured, e.g. by trees, bushes or signs
  • Cameras must be visible from 60m away in 40mph or less zones and 100m for all other speed limit zones
  • Signs warning drivers of an upcoming camera and reminding them of the speed limit must be located within 1km of fixed and mobile camera sites
  • Signs must only be placed in areas where camera housings are located or where mobile cameras are in operation
  • In order to make them visible, mobile speed camera operators must wearing fluorescent clothing, and their vehicles should be marked with reflective strips
  • Camera sites are to be reviewed at least every six months in order to ensure that cameras are adequately visible and signed

All police forces taking part in the netting-off scheme, where the money recouped from speeding fines is put back into setting up more speed cameras in hazardous spots, are bound by the rules above. Non-compliance may result in expulsion from the scheme. If you’re caught by a speed camera which falls short of the rules, however, you will unfortunately not have any defence.

There may be cases where the local authority considers yellow colouring to be inappropriate, for example if it represents an eyesore in a place of outstanding natural beauty, in which case the Safety Camera Netting-off Project Board needs to be consulted.

The Department of Transport (via DOT Circular Roads 1/92) recommends that speed cameras be placed at sites where a large number of speeding accidents occur. Before they are deployed, it should be ascertained whether there are other measures that can be taken beforehand to improve safety (e.g. improving road layout, anti-skid surfacing, improved visibility).

If you need legal advice with regards to speed cameras, speeding offences or anything else, try our Instant Law Line service. This service providers customers with affordable personal legal advice over the telephone, as soon as they need it - you could be getting legal advice in 5 minutes.

For more information on speeding offences and the kind of charges you can expect, head to our Speeding Offences section.

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