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Types of speed camera

The Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP) currently operates three types of speed cameras - Gatso and Truvelo fixed-spot cameras and a Specs3 average speed camera system.

All three types of camera have the capability to capture different ‘classes’ of vehicle within the speed limits and may not operate solely at the maximum speed limit.

For example, a single carriageway road covered by the national speed limit has three applicable speed limits. Whilst the maximum permissible speed under ideal conditions for a car or motorcycle is 60mph, Light Goods Vehicles are limited to 50mph and Heavy Goods Vehicles are limited to 40mph.

Drivers should be aware that the a speed camera may activate across speed limits for HGV and LGV classes as well as the maximum ‘posted’ speed limit for cars and motorcycles. It is the driver’s responsibility to know the speed limitation (by class of vehicle) of the vehicle they are driving.

Average speed enforcement system

Average speed enforcement cameras bring together the latest technological developments, in order to establish the average speed of vehicles through a designated area.

Every camera can be an entry or exit camera as they can monitor data from the front or rear of a vehicle, the cameras can also monitor the entry and exit to any combination of lane/s. The distance monitored can be anywhere between 250m and 20km and as the data recorded is collected remotely, monitoring can be constant.

As vehicles pass between the entry and exit camera points their number plates are digitally recorded, whether speeding or not.

Then, by ANPR recognition, the images of matching number plates are paired up and because each image carries a date and time stamp, the computer can then work out the average speed over the fixed distance between the cameras. Average speed cameras do not use wet film as with the Truvelo and Gatso technology.

This system uses infra-red lighting to ensure that images meet the Association of Chief Police Officers’ requirements, even in complete darkness.  This rejects the need for obtrusive lighting.

Gatso cameras

The Gatso cameras are situated at permanent sites on the roadside.  The camera works by radar to measure the difference between the frequency of a transmitted radio wave and that of the return wave reflected by the moving target vehicle.

The difference between the frequencies of these two waves can be easily calculated to represent the speed of the moving vehicle.  As a result, the returning radio wave triggers the Gatso system if it exceeds the pre-set threshold.  

Two pictures are then taken of the rear of the vehicle, and stored within the wet film cassette until it is processed.

White line markings on the road surface, five feet apart, provide a secondary back-up check on distance travelled for the Gatso sites.   These are verified by an operative who examines the film taken from the camera, by examining both the first and second pictures.

Truvelo cameras

The Truvelo cameras are installed at permanent sites at the roadside.  These cameras work by the two connecting pairs of sensors which are installed in the surface of the road.  The sensors enable the system to measure the time taken for the front axle of a vehicle to travel, from sensor 1 to sensor 3; this represents a distance of 1.5 metres.

Sensors 2 and 4 also provide a measurement of this speed and if the two differ by more than 2mph, they are rejected and processed no further.  If the measurements are reliable, a single image is taken of the front of the vehicle and stored on wet film. 

As the Truvelo camera is forward facing, the flash is tinted and therefore not as bright as the rear facing Gatso flash.


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Last updated: 28 September 2015

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