EVER wondered what speed you actually have to be doing to get caught by a speed camera?

Could even 1mph over the limit do it? Or maybe you heard it was 10 per cent?

But Thames Valley Police has now cleared up the matter – and revealed the ‘buffer zone’ on cameras is anything up to 9mph over the designated limit.

However, before you go breaking the limit, be warned – the police force applies this rule at its discretion, so as well as it being dangerous, pushing your luck might also still get you fined.

Royal Borough Observer:

THE BUFFFER ZONE ‘LEEWAY’ ON SPEED CAMERAS

Specialist car title Auto Express asked all police forces in the country what discretion they applied to speed cameras before they caught and fined drivers.

While some forces refused to reveal the speed threshold, Thames Valley Police provided the information.

The force works on the basis of 10 per cent plus 2mph.

  • So, that means on a 30mph limit road, the cameras will allow 35mph.
  • 40mph limits the threshold is 46mph.
  • 50mph areas, the threshold is 57mph
  • 60mph limit, the threshold is 68mph
  • 70mph limit, the threshold is 79mph.

Royal Borough Observer:

Of the 34 UK police forces shared information on when their speed cameras activate if a driver is going above the speed limit.

Most police forces have a tolerance of 10% plus 2mph before a speed camera ‘flashes’.

The exceptions are Lancashire Police and London’s Met Police (and TfL), which allow 10 per cent and 3mph.

However, some forces including Nottinghamshire Police refused to reveal if they operated a threshold on speed.

Why does it exist?

This ‘buffer zone’ exists in order to improve driver safety - as AA president Edmund King puts it:

He said: “The last thing we want is drivers glued to the speedometer 100% of the time. We want drivers to concentrate on the road ahead.”

Speedometers are also not 100 per cent accurate – they are allowed to ‘over read’ the speed by up to 10 per cent.

However, for safety reasons they are not permitted to ‘under read’ the speed a car is going.

Will I get away with it?

Hedging your bets and speeding because of these thresholds is not only dangerous, but it could land you with a fine, according to comparison site Confused.com

The tolerance levels for speeding are at the discretion of the police force.

Therefore they’re within their rights to punish any driver that flouts the limit even by a few miles per hour.

In 2017 the rules on speeding fines changed so that they were based on a percentage of your weekly income.

This is in addition to getting points on your licence. 

All the UK police forces

UK POLICE FORCE

 

Avon and Somerset

10% + 2mph

Bedfordshire

Wouldn't reveal threshold

Cambridgeshire

Wouldn't reveal threshold

Cheshire

10% + 2mph

Cleveland

10% + 2mph

Derbyshire

10% + 2mph

Devon and Cornwall

10% + 2mph

Durham

10% + 2mph

Essex

Don't use a standard threshold

Greater Manchester

Wouldn't reveal threshold

Gwent

10% + 2mph

Hampshire

10% + 2mph

Hertfordshire

Wouldn't reveal threshold

Kent

10% + 2mph

Lancashire

10% + 3mph

Leicestershire

10% + 2mph

Merseyside

10% + 2mph

Metropolitan Police / TfL

10% + 3mph

Norfolk

10% + 2mph

North Wales

10% + 2mph

Northumbria

10% + 2mph

Nottinghamshire

Wouldn't confirm if threshold exists

Northern Ireland

10% + 2mph

Scotland

Wouldn't confirm if threshold exists

South Wales

10% + 2mph

South Yorkshire

10% + 2mph

Staffordshire

Wouldn't reveal threshold

Suffolk

10% + 2mph

Thames Valley

10% + 2mph

Warwickshire

10% + 2mph

West Mercia

10% + 2mph

West Midlands

Wouldn't reveal threshold

West Yorkshire

10% + 2mph