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Motorway Average Speed Cameras - Do they work?

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Chris Searle
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 12:18 Quote

Average speed cameras in roadworks

Does anyone ever get caught & fined?

Ive been driving a lot recently through the roadworks on the M1 (Milton Keynes to Luton). Speed limit 50mph. So I set cruise control at 50 and sit back. Vans, cars all sorts come whizzing by.

Do the cameras actually work? Does anyone ever get fined?

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Carl Nixon
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 12:21 Quote

Not been fined myself but I do know people that have been caught.

It is all down to the authority that is running the cameras. Some seem to have different policies from having the cameras running 24/7 to just running during rush hour or when there are actually people working in the road.

If you have cruise control just set it at the right speed and wait it out. Probably not worth the risk

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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 14:45 Quote

Good question.

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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 14:56 Quote

I always think that if it's an 'average' speed camera and you have been stuck in traffic at 30 mph in a 50 limit then you can do 90mph for a limited period to bring your average up !!!

Probably not how the planners saw it

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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 15:04 Quote

I know of someone who was booked in an average speed zone - their average was 55.

Whether the cameras are on or not varies, but some certainly are.

The problem with average speed detection over any distance is that 50 is a fairly high average - even a short time at, say 40 (not unusual in a busy contra flow), and you are unlikely to go back over the average - so from a detection point of view, a bit of a flaw. But of course, one point only cameras are also flawed.

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Tomas Weaver
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 15:06 Quote

I have never been done... touch wood. But i was once told by a national express coach driver they only monitor each lane, so by switching lanes you shouldnt get caught.... haha this may be all lies but works for me and I do alot of driving up the M4....

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Ewan Wilson
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 15:58 Quote
Quote:

I have never been done... touch wood. But i was once told by a national express coach driver they only monitor each lane, so by switching lanes you shouldnt get caught.... haha this may be all lies but works for me and I do alot of driving up the M4....

Heard the same. Was also discussed on Top Gear.

However have you not noticed that there are often 3 sets of cameras so at least two of them will capture you over the distance.

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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 16:22 Quote

I fairly regularly go on the M3 which has had loads of speed cameras near the M25 for ages. Wondered this myself.

I did go through a phase of creeping my speed up (as bugger all traffic). First time 50ish, second time 55ish, third time 60ish...and I never got a ticket.

Not heard about the changing lanes thing, but did hear that car speedos are typically 5-10% OTT (ie you're going slower than it says) and that cameras give you ~10% leeway...so if your speedo says you're doing 58, you're probably only actually doing 55, and the 50mph speed camera will let you get away with that.

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Ewan Wilson
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 16:32 Quote
Quote:

Not heard about the changing lanes thing, but did hear that car speedos are typically 5-10% OTT (ie you're going slower than it says) and that cameras give you ~10% leeway...so if your speedo says you're doing 58, you're probably only actually doing 55, and the 50mph speed camera will let you get away with that.

Speedos are designed to show a higher speed than you are actually travelling at to compensate for any natural error/inaccuracies.

I have had a car on a racetrack reading 140-ish mph, yet the maximum speed of the car was 127mph according to manufacturer figures.

Have you never noticed you Sat Nav showing a lower speed than what your speedometer indicates?

Anyway I heard a rumor that speed cameras in 70 limits do't go off until you are doing more than 80mph. Anyone tested?

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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 20:10 Quote

I have a 'friend' who pays very little heed to such contraptions, and always drives at at least 60 mph through these zones, although sometimes other people's steadfast and downright inconsiderate determination to stick to the speed limit does inhibit this and get her a wee bit riled.

Anyways, moral of the story, she claims never to have had a ticket. I don't know how much truth there is in this though, because, obviously, I never speed.

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Carl Nixon
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 20:54 Quote

There is a percentage of error built in to all speed cameras to allow for inaccuracy of car spedo's (normally about 10%). According to the lawyers when defending speeders in the past, one of the biggest variances in actual speed to speedo speed is caused by air in your tyres. The higher the pressure in your tyres the larger the outer circumference of your tyre, which means you go further per revolution of your wheels (speedos basically work out how fast your wheels rotate rather than actual speed).

The lane changing bug in early models was true but was fixed sometime ago.

I have often thought about speeding and then tucking in behind a lorry at the exit point, so it cant clock my number plate. Dont think I will risk the points though

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Kevin Arrow
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 21:03 Quote

Do people get caught and fined? - answer YES

three reasons for people speeding past you

1) sat nav is the true reading of speed as said earlier the speedo on a car has always been set slightly fast

2) foreign plated vehicles are not chased for fines so they dont care

3) masked plates - either through a film, or type face or spacing so the cameras cant read them

My advice stick to 50 doing 60 wont get you there much quicker and is it worth the risk?

rgds

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Carl Nixon
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Posted: 2nd Sep 2010 - 21:21 Quote

Quote:

3) masked plates - either through a film, or type face or spacing so the cameras cant read them

Doesnt work either. The automatic processing might not work but it just gets flagged for manual processing and then you have the added risk of getting done for an illegal number plate.

At the end of the day though, the limits are there to protect both you and the guys working in the road. There is one hell of a difference between 50 and 70 in an emergency situation

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Posted: 3rd Sep 2010 - 06:04 Quote
Quote:

(speedos basically work out how fast your wheels rotate rather than actual speed).

Err, no, they work on the speed of the transmission, otherwise we'd need our speedometers recalibrated if we fitted different sized wheels (or snow tyres in the winter).

Anyway - average speed cameras - do they work? Yes, they get (most) people to slow down to the required speed.

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David Carey
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Posted: 3rd Sep 2010 - 11:02 Quote

Never been booked myself, but a friend of mine has.

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