12 types of speed camera which catch drivers and how they work

We have all seen them, those little yellow boxes on the side of the road catching speeding drivers, and arguably they have a role to play in keeping us safe.

By Reporter
Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 9:55 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:52 pm
Different types of speed camera
Different types of speed camera

But did you know just how many different speed cameras there are operating on our roads? From average speed cameras to overhead cameras, mobile cameras, speedguns and night cameras, it's easy to get confused. Here's a guide to the most common camera types on our roads.

On motorways, these tend to be used during roadworks rather than all the time. They are different to normal motorway cameras. They record your speed between two points and calculate an AVERAGE of your speed overall.
Can be overhead or on the floor. They ONLY trigger when you speed past them - different to average speed cameras. They used to only be switched on when the overhead signs are on, but the new Smart ones can catch anyone at any time

Sign up to our daily newsletter

These are used by police or volunteers at the side of the residential roads. The RADAR speed devices capture the speed of any passing car. They are highly visible patrols and anyone caught speeding can be issued a ticket.
These work in the same way as overhead cameras, but are positioned on the floor. They don't tend to be used these days but they trigger when driven past at speed.
These are the 'classic' standard speed cameras which have been on roads since the 1990s. They are rear facing and capture the car and number plate when driven past fast enough to trigger it.
On non-motorways, Average Speed Cameras can be in place permanently. One example is on the Woodhead Pass. They record how long it takes you to drive between two points, to work out if you were going too fast.
These are similar to the classic speed camera but they face forwards. They trigger only when drivers speed past them faster than the speed limit for that road.
Police cars can record your speed as they travel behind you. On-board computers and cameras can sit behind you and track your car's position relative to nearby objects like lampposts and work out how fast you're going.
This is a new type of mobile speed gun which can capture your car speeding up to a MILE away. It's not in use in our area yet but it could be.
These are similar to mobile speedguns. The vans park up on roadsides and can catch anyone speeding past.
These are infrared sensors which can capture your number plate in the dark. They are used in conjunction with speed cameras to make sure you can't speed even in the pitch black.
Okay so it's not speeding, but Red X cameras can now capture your car and trigger a fine if you drive under a camera while a lane has been closed on a smart motorway.