Have you ever seen a speed camera sign but didn't see the camera itself and wondered if it was hidden, or just not there at all?
In this short blog, we're going to discuss the reasons for speed camera signs and why there may not always be a camera ready and waiting for speed limit breakers.
Related Article: Speed Cameras Explained
What does a speed camera sign mean?
Contrary to the popular myth, speed camera signs don't really mean anything other than there may be a speed camera ahead (or there may not). If you don't want to take our word for it then check out the official response on the website Askthepolice.uk which states:
"There is nothing in the law that states that any speed camera device, whether fixed or mobile, must be marked in any way, signed or at a particular position. There are codes of practice and best practice guides that are set by police forces themselves but these are policies rather than law."
What this means is that the speed camera signs are courtesy by the Police to warn drivers that this is an area of high interest to catch speeding motorists and caution should be taken to stay within the limits. Speed camera signs are often located in areas where accidents are more common.
But, what that statement also says is that they can catch you speeding anywhere and do not need to pre-warn any motorist, so always obey the speed limits and be vigilant. The police like to tuck away in hidden places and catch speeding motorists off guard.
Our final thoughts on this point would be that an area with a speed camera sign may be more likely to have an actual speed camera stationed nearby than an area without, but not a guaranteed indication of the existence or nonexistence of one. So basically, in conclusion, stick to the speed limit and you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Does there need to be a speed camera sign?
No. By law, the Police or Traffic Enforcement do not need to erect a sign or warn drivers of their presence. Even the permanently erect speed camera signs don't have to be there; it is simply more of a deterrent than anything else.
Nowadays, thanks to modern technology, sat navs are able to detect incoming speed cameras and notify the driver, even if there are no signs. However, it is still a good idea to keep your eyes peeled, as sat navs don’t detect every speed camera out there.
Can you get caught speeding if there are no signs?
Yes. As we've covered, a speeding sign is a courtesy and not there by law. Speeding is illegal everywhere and cameras have the right to be there by law and catch reckless drivers with or without a sign.
Do speed cameras catch everyone?
No, for many reasons. Many speed cameras are simply broken and would need to be repaired to be functioning again - what bit could be broken is unknown — it could be the flash, the recorder, or the data connection on the other end.
Calibration is another factor that may make speed cameras not catch anyone, cameras need calibrating and testing so that when a car goes a certain speed the camera can detect it properly.
Some speed cameras are simply there to monitor the speed of traffic and are not there to catch people out. These are often the hidden police cars on the side of the road or just surveillance cameras (CCTV). However you never know when you’re being watched, so it’s best to behave.
Lastly, some cameras that we see on the road are there for different purposes like the tripod cameras we see on motorway bridges, which are searching for a particular car, or cars, in order to catch a criminal. There will be no sign to indicate these cameras’ existence.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on 17th March 2020 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter Receive weekly updates on our latest deals, articles and more!