Inaccurate Speed Cameras

Picture of Gatso speed cameraThe German Government recently gave results of Gatso camera tests showing that all cameras were inaccurate.

They were giving different readings even though the test pass speed was the same.

Some cameras were getting reflections off walls and resulting in the speed being doubled. The ACPO Guide even touches on this: "Objects can act as radio mirrors and reflect signals from moving vehicles outside the area of the coverage. For example, the signal could be reflected around a bend in the road and measure the speed of a vehicle not visible to the radar."

But the biggest problem was the angle that they were set at, a small deviation in the azimuth and direction created a variety of incorrect readings. This is always in favour of the driver however giving a lower speed.

This problem has become a national scandal with both the police and engineers agreeing that there is a massive problem. Cameras have been covered and turned off in some places while they sort out the problem.

There is no official press announcement on this in the UK and its not known what the full effect will be.

The cameras used in the UK are less accurate according to the specifications and this link explains how to check the accuracy of the evidence.

UK Speed Trap Guide

Steve Warren at the UK Speed Trap Guide has been playing with his own radar gun and has obtained some very interesting results.

"1, pointing it at a sign, no speed until a lorry thunders by, the vibration gave me readings

2, pointing it at a speaker with music or voice playing, speeds of 100 mph plus

The results we came upon was that any vibration caused spoof readings.

So to test it further, we mounted a metal plate on a speaker, turned up the volume and drove past the gun at 30mph with the boot open and the speaker pointing back, the gun gave speeds of over 100 mph.

A badly vibrating number plate also gave us spook readings.

Seems that any vibration will affect radar. It could be as simple as a metallic object on your car vibrating and upsetting the gun.

Lorries with flat backs will also give odd readings and the police have confirmed this when they sent a NIP to a driver that knew he was doing 2mph but they said he was over the 30 mph limit. They then agreed that they have a problem."

This article was in The Sun, Thursday, 16 August 2001



SHOCKED lorry driver Steve Daniel was busted for speeding - while crawling through a traffic jam at TWO mph.

Steve, 29 - who needs a clean licence for his job - was sent a police ticket claiming speed cameras caught him doing 55mph.

He was ordered to pay a £60 fine and told he would get three penalty points on his licence.

But the tachograph in Steve's cab logged every detail of his journey - allowing him to successfully appeal.

And police last night admitted a camera fault was to blame.

A spokesman said: "It's a technical problem with the radar that occurs when large flat-backed vehicles pass the cameras at less than 13mph. The camera reads the speed wrongly.

"We know it's happened at other places and our operators are trained to examine all photographs to spot it.

"For whatever reason the other photographs weren't checked in this case. We would like to apologise."

This article appeared in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner on the 31 March 2003

Pensioner's caravan fools speed camera

How To Check The Accuracy of Gatso Cameras

The problem with Gatso cameras is the radars that activate the camera sequence and, in order to “speed up” the issuing of the NIP, they us the speed recorded by the radar. They only look at one of the two photographs to get the registration number of the “offending” vehicle. So, if you believe the speed measured by the radar to be inaccurate, you should follow this procedure:

Note: Before the police will agree to provide you with the evidence, you will probably be required to enter a plea of not guilty and our Disclosure page may help you to understand the legal position.

If you are not sure if you were speeding, then you should have been sent or will need to write to the police and ask for a copy of both of the photographs that were taken of you by the Gatso. You should also ask how far apart in time the pictures were taken. When you have the pictures back from the police (they are required to provide them to you), then look at the lines that are painted on the road and you can see how far you have travelled in the time it took to take both pictures - typically the pictures are taken 0.5 second apart. You will need to revisit the camera site and carefully (don't get snapped again! or run over) measure the distance between the lines. Then you will know how far your vehicle moved in the time period and from this you can calculate your speed. If it matches the speed you are accused of - then it would appear to be a valid accusation.

This link, the ABD's website, provides additional information.

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