How far can a speed camera catch you? This will shock you | Bradford

The Department for Transport revealed that all speed cameras were to be painted yellow by October 2016.

This should make most of them easier to see, but what if a speed camera was practically invisible because of how far away it is?

Well, they exist.

Good to see that the police now have a new tool, “The Long Ranger” in their arsenal. A powerful, mobile, speed camera that can produce clear footage of drivers texting, tailgating and speeding from more than half a mile away. Excellent development!

— Quentin (@VeloTraining) November 26, 2018

How far can a speed camera catch you?

Long Ranger mobile speed cameras

These new cameras are an advancement upon current speed camera technology and have an impressive range of over 1km, which has seen them dubbed the ‘Lone Ranger’. 

It is the longest-distance speed enforcer on UK roads.

The camera can also be used for recording drivers not wearing seatbelts and people using the phone while driving.

RAC road safety spokesperson Pete Williams said: “Although this new long-range camera could be used to enforce illegal mobile phone use or tailgating, it’s primary use will no doubt be to catch speeding drivers, if indeed it becomes more widely used by forces.

“Some drivers will inevitably end up being very surprised when a notice of intended prosecution letter arrives on their doormat when they felt they had managed to slow down enough after spotting a police car in the distance.”

What other speed cameras are there on UK roads?

There are almost 20 different kinds of speed cameras on UK roads.

The newest are the VECTOR-SR cameras recently installed in the North West.

They don’t flash and infra-red technology means white lines don’t have to be painted on the roads they are monitoring.

The Gatso is the oldest camera on UK roads – although they switched to digital tech in 2007 and no longer need film[1].

A rearward facing unit, it uses a radar to measure the speed of a vehicle. If it is above the pre-set threshold, the camera takes two pictures, producing a double flash that makes the rear registration plate and number clearly visible.

These cameras are always supplemented by white lines – called secondary check marks – painted on the road at specific intervals, which are used to confirm the vehicle’s speed. 

The forward-facing Truvelo camera eliminates the possibility of a driver trying to dodge a Gatso fine because a photo doesn’t capture a driver’s face.

Truvelo uses an infra-red device so it doesn’t flash and measures speed by utilising sensors buried in the road.

The upgraded Truvelo D-Cam has been used in the UK since in 2013.

It can be installed both forward and rear-facing, making them a popular choice for replacing older Gatso cams.

If you use the M62 you’ll be familiar with the gantry-placed speed cameras, known as HADECS, which stands for ‘Highway Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System’.

They can monitor up to five lanes of traffic (including the hard shoulder, which may be active as a running lane) and can capture vehicles using lane identification, vehicle position and positive vehicle identification.

They also operate faultlessly in all weather conditions, including fog and snow. 

What is the penalty for speeding?

The minimum penalty for speeding is generally a £100 fine and three points on your licence.

If it’s a first offence and you don’t have points on your licence, you could be offered a speed awareness course instead of penalty points.


  1. ^ film (