Mobile speed cameras – how do they work and can you expect to be warned about them?

Mobile speed cameras pop up around the UK to catch speeding motorists, but, – as is the case with fixed-position cameras – do drivers need to be warned about them, how do they work and other questions answered here.

Mobile speed cameras

Can a mobile speed camera in a van catch you while moving? Image credit:Lee Haywood

What is a mobile speed camera?

As the name suggests, mobile speed cameras are exactly that, mobile. They are used to enforce speed limits across the UK and are generally a road vehicle fitted with speed camera equipment.

What are the different types of mobile speed camera?

Mobile speed cameras come in a number of shapes and sizes:

Radar gun
Laser gun
DS2
Mini Gatso
Unmarked/marked police cars

What distance do mobile speed cameras work from?

Typically, depending on the type of mobile speed camera, the range will be about two miles on a straight bit of road – they cannot work round bends or over brows of hills.

Do mobile speed cameras need to pre-warn of their presence in an area?

Although it’s rumoured that mobile speed cameras need to warn you that they are operating, it is not a legal requirement. Sometimes signs indicate the presence of speed cameras, but no warning needs to be given.

Can you be caught by a mobile speed camera if you’re behind another car?

With a diameter as small as 10cm, the laser beam emitted by a mobile speed camera can target your vehicle as long as the speed camera operator can see your vehicle, they will be able to get a reading of your speed.

Can a speed enforcement camera in a van catch people speeding while it’s driving?

Typically, mobile speed cameras in a van work when they are parked up, but it’s still possible for it to catch speeding motorists when the van is moving.

Can a mobile speed camera target your vehicle if you’re on the opposite side of the road?

If you’re driving on the opposite side of the road to a mobile speed camera, you won’t be exempt from being targeted. As long as the laser beam is aimed at the vehicle, it will be able to relay the driver’s exact speed.

Will I get a speeding ticket… what happens after the motorway or A-road flash?

To help ease the anxiety of whether you’ll get a ticket, here’s our instant guide to working out if you’re in line for points and a fine…


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