Myth - Safety cameras should not be called 'safety cameras' as they have nothing to do with safety.
Fact - The term 'safety camera' is a generic term used to encompass both speed and red light cameras; and there is significant evidence that they do have a highly beneficial effect on road safety. In addition, camera vans enforce mobile phone and seat belt offences as well as speed.
Myth - Cameras have to be painted yellow and be visible.
Fact - This is not a legal requirement, however we make safety cameras as visible as possible.
The following ARE legal requirements:
- All equipment is type approved by the Home Office.
- All equipment is calibrated when required.
- All equipment is operated in the correct manner and operators are trained.
- Speed limit signs are in place during enforcement - operators check the correct signage is in place prior to enforcement and again afterwards.
- A Notice of Intended Prosecution is to be received by the registered keeper of the vehicle within 14 days.
- The registered keeper has 28 days to respond to the NIP.
The following ARE NOT legal requirements but are part of the K&MSCP's policy:
- Mobile camera vans are clearly marked with Police livery and camera symbols.
- Fixed cameras are painted yellow.
- All cameras and vans are clearly visible.
- Black and white camera signs are used to warn drivers that there may be a safety camera.
- Camera locations are published.
- Cameras are only used where people have been killed or seriously injured.
- Enforcement carried out over ACPO guidelines (threshold of 10% + 2mph as a minimum).
- In a 30mph limit we erect speed limit repeater signs to remind motorists of the limit.
Myth - Safety cameras are a stealth tax for motorists.
Fact - It is impossible to opt out of paying tax, whereas a careful driver who adheres to the law will avoid paying a fine. Only drivers breaking the law by speeding, not wearing a seat belt or using a mobile phone whilst driving will pay. Safety cameras are placed where they will help save lives, not where they might generate revenue.
Myth - It is unfair to prosecute people for speeding at night when it is quiet and there is no traffic.
Fact - The crash rate doubles at night due to higher vehicle speed, more alcohol consumption, tiredness and reduced visibility. Therefore, complying with speed limits is important at all times.
Myth - There is no need to carry out speed enforcement when other things make driving dangerous.
Fact - Inappropriate or excessive speed is a major contributory factor in crashes that cause death and injury. We are encouraging motorists to think about their driving behaviour in an attempt to make our roads safer for all road users. We also use the camera vans to enforce mobile phone and seat belt offences.
Myth - Other methods should be used to slow drivers down, such as better speed limit signs and traffic calming measures.
Fact - Safety cameras are part of much wider casualty reduction activities carried out by each Highway Authority to reduce vehicle speeds. When considering appropriate measures, planners will always assess whether engineering methods or improved signing are likely to be effective in the first instance.
Myth - The police should enforce speed limits without relying on cameras.
Fact - Safety camera enforcement is just one way to control speed and the police still have a part to play in slowing traffic. Outside of the Partnership, the police may enforce speed limits using any equipment that has been approved by the Home Office and stop drivers to offer advice about their speed without prosecuting.