New super ‘yellow vulture’ speed cameras that can catch drivers who are using their phone or eating behind the wheel have arrived in the UK.
The cameras feature new LED infrared equipment and they look nothing like the traditional ones that drivers are used to seeing at the roadside.
They face oncoming traffic and some motorists may not realise they are cameras at all.
In addition to speeding, the equipment can catch drivers who aren’t wearing a seatbelt or are using their phone, eating, drinking or smoking when they’re meant to be concentrating on the road, Devon Live reports.
The technology, part of the new Safety Camera Partnership, is meant to snare speeding drivers more effectively.
A cluster of cameras has been set up along Gdynia Way, which leads into into Plymouth city centre in Devon.
The cameras face oncoming traffic, while an accompanying LED box system is positioned 20 yards before them.
How do average speed cameras work?
The multiple cameras (at least two) are set at separate locations along a stretch of road (at a minimum 200m apart) and are synchronised to record the exact time that each car passes using number plate reading technology.
Then a computer will work out the average speed between the cameras to determine if the car was over the speed limit.
Some people wrongly think that each camera records a driver’s speed as they pass each camera before the computer works out the average speed as the car passed every camera – this explains why some drivers think they can speed up between the cameras and slow down as they pass them.
But doing this is likely to land you with a fine – the cameras simply record the time you pass them and the computer works out how long it has taken you to pass the distance between them.
Do the cameras work at night?
Yes. They are fitted with infra red illuminators to ensure they work night and day, and all weathers.
Can the cameras run out of film?
No. Unlike some other speed cameras, average speed camera information is saved to a computer.
Can the cameras catch motorbikes?
Yes. The cameras are equipped to capture all types of vehicles.
If a vehicle changes lanes will they avoid any fines?
No. The cameras calculate for lane changes. But this myth can mean people dangerously switch lanes increasing the chance of crashes.
If a driver passes more than two sets of average speed cameras in a sequence while over the speed limit, will they be fined more than once?
This is unlikely. Only certain cameras in the sequence are usually ‘paired’, so where, for example, there are four in a sequence it may be your speed between the first and third that is recorded, or the second and fourth or first and fourth, and so on.
But you will not know which ones are recording your number plate at any time.
Where there are separate sections of the same road where average speed camera zones are in force, however, a driver would be committing separate offences by speeding through each one.
If you are less than 10 per cent above the limit, will you get a ticket?
It has been commonly assumed by many drivers over the years that you will not get a ticket so long as your speed does not exceed the limit by more than 10 per cent plus 2mph. This is because of guidance to officers from the National Police Chiefs Council.
Several police forces nationwide have indicated that drivers can expect far less leeway, as cameras become more accurate – and the law states that a driver can receive a ticket as soon as they have exceeded the limit, even if it is only by 1mph.