At the start of 2019, the internet was alight with unfounded rumours that some motorway speed cameras were able to issue a ticket if the 70mph limit was surpassed by just 1mph. Following this web-frenzy, Auto Express approached the 45 police forces with Freedom of Information Requests to ask how strictly their cameras enforced limits.
Surprisingly most of those who responded to the requests, confirmed the old rumour that the tolerance was 10% +2mph meaning that a camera in a 30mph zone could only be activated if someone was driving 35mph or more. This guide is inline with the prosecution guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers.
With less stringent thresholds, The Metropolitan Police follow 10% +3ph and say this is “a proportional response to the high volumes of traffic” in the capital. Lancashire Police also operate with this threshold and says that it has been done to “ensure greater tolerance or discretion”.
Although many were open to sharing thresholds, a number of forces were not willing to share their camera thresholds with Auto Express arguing that this could in fact encourage people to speed. Maybe they have a point…?
What do YOU think?
Police force, number of cameras and threshold
Avon and Somerset 41 10% + 2mph
Bedfordshire 38 Would not reveal threshold
Cambridgeshire 32 Would not reveal threshold
Cheshire 15 10% + 2mph
Cleveland 4 10% + 2mph
Derbyshire 18 10% + 2mph
Devon and Cornwall 98 10% + 2mph
Durham 0 fixed 10% + 2mph
Essex 63 Don't use a standard threshold
Greater Manchester 235 Would not reveal threshold
Gwent 21 10% + 2mph
Hampshire 36 10% + 2mph
Hertfordshire 53 Would not reveal threshold
Kent 109 10% + 2mph
Lancashire 34 10% + 3mph
Leicestershire 30 10% + 2mph
Merseyside 18 10% + 2mph
Metropolitan Police/TfL 805 10% + 3mph
Norfolk 26 10% + 2mph
North Wales 28 10% + 2mph
Northumbria 55 10% + 2mph
Nottinghamshire 48 Refused to confirm if threshold exists
Police Service of Northern Ireland 12 10% + 2mph
Scotland 173 Refused to confirm if threshold exists
South Wales 137 10% + 2mph
South Yorkshire 25 10% + 2mph
Staffordshire 286 Would not reveal threshold
Suffolk 4 10% + 2mph
Thames Valley 294 10% + 2mph
Warwickshire 28 10% + 2mph
West Mercia 23 10% + 2mph
West Midlands 33 Would not reveal threshold
West Yorkshire 402 10% + 2mph
This blog is based on other sources of information and may not be entirely accurate.