When it comes to speed cameras, we have all heard certain rumours but how sure are we of them? Luckily, the road safety charity, Brake, has taken a closer look at some of these myths. Have a look at some of the most common myths and see the truth laid out for your benefit. After all, no one likes a speeding ticket!
- Some cameras aren’t even on.
- You need to be at least 10% over the speeding limit plus 2 mph for it to be a problem.
- You must be given notice within a certain amount of time for the speeding ticket to be valid.
- You can request a speed awareness course instead of getting points on your license.
- Speed cameras are just money making machines.
Yes, this is true. It is thought that as much as nearly a quarter of fixed speed cameras are not in use at any given time, according to insurance comparison website Confused.com who made a Freedom of Information request to the Police in 2015. Police forces do however also operate mobile cameras across the UK and although there are fewer of them, they tend to catch more people.
This is a massively common misconception. In simple terms, this is false; you can be given a ticket as soon as you go over the limit, even by as little as 1 mph. However, the National Police Chiefs Council recommends a prosecution is not sought unless the offence is 10 percent over the speed limit plus 2 mph. This allows the driver an acceptable margin of error while the plus 2 mph is to allow for any error in the vehicle's speedometer. It is very important to add that though this is suggested, it is not the rule. A spokesman from Brake says drivers need to follow the speed limit and know that police officers have the “discretion” to ignore this guidance. Legally, you’re over the speed limit as soon as you hit 1 mph above it.
This is true. Brake say that someone picked up by a speed camera (not a member of the police), must be sent a NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) within 14 days of the incident for the ticket to be valid. This gets sent to the vehicle’s registered owner.
Unfortunately not. Only those who are eligible will be given the chance to go on a speed awareness course so if you are not offered one, you can’t go for this option. You won’t be eligible for the course if you’ve already attended one within the last three years or depending on how much you were speeding (normally you’ll need to be within 10% plus 2 mph and 10% plus 9mph of the speed limit).
There are large amounts of evidence for the effectiveness of speed cameras in bringing down speeds and reducing road accidents and deaths. Studies such as the national safety camera program, which involved the assessment of more than 4,000 speed camera sites across the UK over four years, found that deaths and serious injuries had dropped by an amazing 42%.
Let’s be honest, we all know how tempting it is to speed, especially when you’re running late or you have pushy drivers behind you but it’s really not worth the risk. Not only can you incur penalties if caught speeding, but you’re far more likely to have an accident, possibly killing others or yourself. Brake says, “Breaking the speed limit, or travelling too fast for conditions, is a contributory factor in more than one in four crashes in the UK, and at higher speeds, crashes are far more likely to be fatal.”
By speeding, you’re putting other people at major risk. Worth it? We think not.
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