Speed Camera LeniencyLast modified:
Speeding ‘leeway’, ‘flexibility’, ‘tolerances’, ‘buffer-zone’… a quick skip through Google reveals that there’s no end of internet users interested in whether there’s any wriggle room when it comes to speeding.
The resounding answer is no
Speeding is speeding, the clue is in the use of the word ‘limit’. Get caught going over just 1mph over the speed limit and you have broken the law and will face the usual consequences.
The real question is: At what speed will you get caught?
Obviously, this only applies to fixed speed cameras. Speeds recorded by mobile cameras, handheld speed guns, or average speed cameras are what they are. However, what speed do you have to be doing to trigger a fixed camera to photograph you?
The true answer varies slightly around the country, but predominately the answer is 10% above the speed limit, plus 2mph. In real terms this equates to:
All about safety
The reason for this buffer zone comes down to safety. The authorities don’t want people to speed, but they also don’t want drivers so preoccupied by their speedometers that they fail to pay adequate attention to the road.
Could you speed unwittingly?
At the back of many people’s mind is whether or not their speedometer is accurate. Is there a chance that you could believe you are within the speed limit, when in fact you are over it and get zapped by a speed camera?
Again, the answer is no. Since the arrival of sat-navs many people have noticed a discrepancy between the speed recorded by their vehicle verses that of the sat-nav, which has lead to an element of mistrust. There are many complicated reasons for this, but the upshot is that the law and car manufactures calculate for a certain margin of error when programming fixed speed cameras and calibrating speedometers. They do so in such a way that you cannot ‘accidentally’ be travelling faster than your car is telling you, in effect they round-down, meaning that you may actually be going slower.
If your speedo reads 50mph, you won’t be doing more than 50mph, but your actual speed maybe closer to 40mph.