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Speed Camera Detectors

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 10 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Speed Camera Detectors Legality Of Speed

There is often confusion surrounding the whole issue of speed camera detectors as to their legality and many motorists have put off buying one because of their fear of breaking the law.

However since the advent of GPS satellite navigation systems, the whole issue of speed camera detectors has somewhat helped to clarify the law surrounding their legality for use in the UK.

So, Are They Legal or Not?

Basically, there are 3 types of technology which are used within speed camera detectors. One is radar detection which works by detecting the radar emanating from the camera ahead. They are legal to use in the UK, although there have been discussions in Parliament about bringing in changes to the law on radar detectors to make them illegal but this hasn’t happened as yet. It is, however illegal to use radar detectors in some European countries so if you are planning to drive abroad, it’s important to check out the specific country’s motoring laws first.

GPS speed camera detectors are also legal in both the UK and Europe because they use a database of camera locations and because this data is available to all members of the public, any new speed cameras which are installed have to be registered onto the database so the information as to their location is out there for all to see, including drivers, of course. However, it is important to remember that the databases are updated constantly so you need to ensure that your GPS device is subscribed to a reputable database which updates its information regularly. In other words, as a speed camera detector, your GPS device is only as good as the database it uses.

Laser jammers, however, are an entirely different proposition altogether and, perhaps, are partly responsible for causing confusion about the legality of speed camera detectors. They still present a ‘grey’ area when it comes to their legality as the technology within them can be used to remotely open garage doors, for example. Because there are no laws against using devices which emit infra red or laser light, as long as it doesn’t harm humans, animals or other property, they can’t be classed as illegal. However, they are often bought with the ‘intention of interfering’ with speed cameras and, as such, if you were stopped by police and openly admitted that you used the technology for this purpose, you could be charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Benefits of Having Speed Camera Detection

You might think that the police and other law enforcement agencies would be negative about GPS based speed camera detectors. However, this is not the case and they have broadly welcomed its introduction. In fact, many would say that the technology has increased driver awareness and has helped motorists drive more responsibly.

As GPS speed camera detectors alert drivers when they are approaching a speed camera as well as telling them the speed limit on that particular stretch of road and their current speed, drivers are more likely to act responsibly and to keep within the speed limit. This has been particularly useful in reducing accidents in renowned accident ‘blackspots’ and around schools as the technology enables drivers to focus on their immediate environment as opposed to constantly staring at the speedometer.

Therefore, the technology is out there and, rather than us thinking that it’s going to help us ‘get one over’ on the police, it should be considered as an additional safety device to enable us to take more care when driving. An emphasis on ‘evasion’ isn’t going to help you if you are speeding where your device has not detected a thing when, all of a sudden, a police car rolls out of a hidden lay by behind you.

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