How many speed cameras around the UK are actually working?

Speed tickets
  • Icon
  • Icon
  • Icon
  • What speed cameras across the country are you most likely to be caught by? Are some speed cameras even on? And what are the fines since they were updated in April, 2017?

    The first speed camera was installed in 1992 on the A316 in Twickenham. Set at 60mph in a 40mph speed limit zone, it caught 22,939 drivers exceeding 65mph in 22 days.

    Since 1992, speed cameras duplicated around the country as their effectiveness at making sure drivers stayed at safe speeds also spread. However, when fines from the cameras became part of the Treasury rather than replenished into funding new cameras and camera upkeep, counties and police departments decommissioned numerous cameras. Still, many cameras still work across the country and since April 2017, a new fining system was introduced, changing how you can be prosecuted.

    Is it even on?

    On November 4th, 2017, both the BBC and the Guardian detailed how The Press Association (PA) sent freedom of information requests to all 45 territorial police forces and their speed camera partners, asking how many of their speed cameras were active. 36 forces responded, detailing that out of the total 2,838 cameras, 1,486 were active.

    • Cleveland, Durham, North Yorkshire and Northamptonshire all replied that none of their fixed speed cameras were active.

    • Northamptonshire did say that although it turned its cameras off in 2011, it kept the structures there to discourage speeding.

    • Only 14 of Staffordshire’s 272 fixed cameras are still working,

    • Derbyshire operates 112 cameras but only 10 of them ever catch speeders.

    • In Scotland, less than 29% of their fixed cameras are switched on

    • In West Yorkshire, Kent, South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire less than 25% of their fixed cameras are active:

    • Out of the 17 speed cameras in Gwent, only 8 are active

    • From the 88 speed cameras in South Wales, just 59% of which are switched on

    A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said the decision to use cameras was an operational matter, adding: “All forces have individual responsibility for their use of speed cameras. Many of the empty yellow cases are due to cuts in road safety grants and the fact that digital cameras, although more effective, are very expensive.”

    However, the police forces that responded did say that they regularly send out mobile speed cameras across their jurisdictions.

    Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “Drivers should remember that lack of a yellow fixed camera doesn't mean they are immune from mobile hidden cameras. Best advice is stick to the limits rather than gambling on the yellow boxes."

    Don’t risk it

    On 31st May, 2016, it was revealed by The Telegraph that the number of miles monitored by average speed cameras across the UK has more than doubled in just three years. As we know now, active speed cameras no longer monitor many of these miles anymore, but some spots still catch drivers unaware.

    The three deadliest speed cameras in 2015 (according to This is Money):

          3. M25 J17-18, Rickmansworth took £538,500 in fines

          2. M180, West of River Trent, Scunthorpe took £583,500 in fines

          1. A1 Northbound, Great Ponton took £606,400 in fines

    Speed limit fines, according to statistics from the Department for Transport Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2016 Annual Report, have risen from 1,103 in 2010 to 2,153 in 2016, with 95% of offences detected by cameras (according to the Home Office). Whether this is because of the rise in speed cameras or because more people are causing offenses it is undetermined, but either way, you should do all you can to not to be part of that statistic.

    You can find out where speed cameras are in your area you can visit:


    New Speeding Fines

    As of April, 2017, new speeding fines were introduced that focus on using your weekly income as the basis for how much you need to pay. These new penalties are in three bands: A, B, and C, with C being the strictest.

    Penalty bands:

    • Band A: a fine of between 25% and 75% of your weekly wage.

    • Band B: a fine of between 75% and 125% of your weekly income, as well as possible points on your licence.

    • Band C: a fine of between 125% and 175% of your weekly pay (capped at £1,000 or £2,500, depending on the type of road you're caught speeding on), as well as a possible ban from driving for up to 56 days or six points on your licence.


    Don't forget: you can also face a £200 fine and six penalty points if you drive with your mobile.