Speed Cameras

Home Department written question – answered on 11th February 2004.

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Photo of Dominic Grieve Dominic Grieve Shadow Attorney General

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what differences there are in the calibration of speed cameras between police authority areas; and whether all authorities apply a 10 per cent. and 2 mph allowance over the speed limit before a fixed penalty or prosecution is initiated.

Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)

All cameras are required to detect and record the speed of passing vehicles within specified degrees of accuracy. Until July 2003 the standard was a positive error of no more than 3mph up to 100mph, and 3 per cent. above 100mph. The negative error was not greater than 5mph or 10 per cent. above 50mph. From July 2003, in line with European standards, new speed cameras will be required to be accurate to ±2mph up to 66mph and ±3 per cent. above 66mph. This has not yet been implemented for existing cameras, but we consider that all cameras are in fact already accurate to this level.

The enforcement of speed limits on the basis of information provided by the cameras is an operational matter for chief officers of police. The Association of Chief Police Officers has published guidelines on speed enforcement thresholds to support a transparent and consistent approach, while recognising that not all speeding offences are the same. The police retain discretion to take account of the particular circumstances of any particular speeding incident.

All police forces follow the guidelines, which are publicly available on the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) website (www.acpo.police.uk)

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