Speed Cameras: Reality Check For Drivers

There has been a lot written about speed cameras and the debate continues to rage.  For an individual driver, though, the reality is that, like them or loath them, you are going to have to deal with them.

So any advanced driving tip on speed cameras should not focus on the "why" we have them but on the "how": ie, how to deal with them.  We should all aim to drive safely within the speed limits.  Those speed limits are not targets: they are limits.   Speed camera violations mean penalty points and a fine, plus of course the added disbenefit of the possibility of a higher insurance premium next time when you have to declare them.


. Watch out for drivers who brake without thinking when they see a speed camera, regardless of what is behind them or how much they are below the limit.  Those give-away tyre marks on the tarmac show where this has happened before - don't be too close next time it happens to you;

. Allow at least a two second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying fast traffic - more in the wet;

. Make sure you look for speed limit signs each time you join a new road. Signs may not be obvious but are normally at the start of a section of road. Look out also for  smaller, "repeater" signs - you may then see a camera ahead.  Be aware though, that there are still roads that have the camera warning sign but no speed limit repeater signs .

. If there is no sign, or you are in doubt, 30mph is the norm on urban roads. This can also be the case even if there are two lanes.  Street lights less than 200 yards apart usually mean a 30 mph limit for cars, unless there are signs showing a higher limit.

Speed limits on some roads may appear at first to be unrealistic but are there for a very good reason. Certain dual carriageways have a 50 or even a 40 limit because of nearby houses and noise pollution.

Remember too that if you are driving a van over 2 tons maximum (loaded) weight there are specific lower limits.

So know the speed limits and stick to them.  Or pay the price.

2 December 2006 Staff

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