Greater Manchester’s Hi-Tech Leap: 100 ‘Ultra’ Cameras Unveiled
Greater Manchester Police has taken a technological stride with the installation of 100 two-way ‘ultra’ cameras, known as VECTOR-SR, across the city.
These cameras, equipped with infra-red technology, signal a new era in speed enforcement without the need for visible white lines on the roads.
The Diverse Landscape of UK Speed Cameras: 18 Variants Unveiled
While the VECTOR-SR cameras take the spotlight, they are just one of the 18 different types of speed cameras employed across the UK.
From the iconic Digital Gatso to cutting-edge Aecom mobile speed cameras, each variant serves a unique purpose in detecting and enforcing speed limits.
1. Digital Gatso Speed Cameras: Evolution of the Roadside Sentry
The Digital Gatso, the pioneer of fixed speed cameras, has undergone significant evolution since its introduction on Britain’s roads in 1991.
From film-based operations to the latest Gatsometer Type 24, this rearward-facing unit now uses radar technology and white lines for speed confirmation.
2. Truvelo Combi: Addressing the Faceless Speeding Dilemma
Addressing the challenge of capturing the face of the motorist, the forward-facing Truvelo Combi relies on infra-red technology.
Positioned with three white lines on the road, it calculates a vehicle’s speed without a flash. The grey camera with an orange lens captures the driver’s identity for evidence.
3. Truvelo D-Cam: Svelte Design and Dual-Facing Power
Introduced in 2013, the Truvelo D-Cam boasts a sleek design and can be installed both forward and rear-facing. Using radar technology, it monitors up to three lanes, making it a versatile replacement for older Truvelo systems and Gatso cameras.
4. SpeedCurb: Dual-Purpose Enforcement for Traffic Speed and Red Lights
RedSpeed’s SpeedCurb operates on rear-facing cameras, enforcing both traffic speed and red light violations across two lanes. With high-mounted slim cameras, it captures three digital photos, including a close-up of the number plate for enforcement.
5. VECTOR-SR: The ‘Ultra’ Speed Camera Revolution
The latest addition to the speed camera landscape, VECTOR-SR, stands out as an ‘ultra’ speed camera. Approved in 2019, it utilizes video-based systems and an intelligent virtual grid for speed and red-light enforcement. Infra-red technology eliminates the need for road markings, making it a versatile and cost-effective solution.
6. REDFLEXspeed: High-Resolution Offenses Captured
REDFLEXspeed, approved by the Home Office, includes REDFLEXred for red light monitoring and REDFLEXspeed for motorway speed enforcement. With built-in 11-megapixel cameras, it captures high-resolution color images, identifying multiple offenses and offending vehicles simultaneously.
7. Peek Speed Cameras: The Rare Rear-Facing Radar Systems
Peek cameras, though rare, operate similarly to Gatsos, using solely rear-facing systems with radar technology and a flash. While less common, they continue to contribute to speed enforcement in built-up areas.
8. HADECS3: Smart Motorways and Advanced Radar Technology
HADECS3, prevalent on smart motorways, represents a transformation in motorway speed cameras. Placed in overhead gantries or poles, it uses radar technology to monitor up to five lanes, including the active hard shoulder, ensuring faultless operation in all weather conditions.
9. SPECS Average Speed Camera: A Turn-of-the-Century Menace
The turn of the century introduced the SPECS average speed camera, utilizing multiple installations along a road for speed enforcement. Using infra-red and ANPR technology, it calculates average speed between paired cameras, with drivers unaware of the specific camera pairs.
10. VECTOR Average Speed Cameras: Beyond Speed Enforcement
Introduced in 2014, VECTOR average speed cameras go beyond speed detection. Yellow cameras enforce speed limits, while grey ones serve additional purposes, including bus lane enforcement, traffic lights, yellow-box junctions, and city center monitoring.
11. Siemens SafeZone: Compact and Discreet Speed Enforcement
Siemens SafeZone cameras, bright yellow yet compact, focus on urban areas and school zones. Using ANPR technology, they enforce speed limits and aid in reducing traffic congestion, seamlessly fitting into existing street furniture.
12. SpeedSpike: The Networked Speed Enforcement System
SpeedSpike, a relative newcomer, boasts a network of up to 1,000 linked cameras using GPRS for 24/7 enforcement. Utilizing ANPR technology, it identifies vehicles and coordinates with an online database for efficient speeding enforcement.
13. Mobile Speed Cameras: On-the-Move Enforcement
Mobile speed camera vans equipped with various cameras, including mini Gatsos, radar guns, and laser guns, continue to be deployed across the UK for on-the-move enforcement.
14. DS2 Mobile Speed Cameras: Semi-Permanent Surveillance
DS2 mobile speed cameras, considered semi-permanent, operate with piezo strips triggering cameras. These unmanned systems capture speeders and provide additional evidence for enforcement.
15. Aecom Mobile Speed Cameras: The ‘Big Brother’ Vehicle
The Aecom mobile speed detection system, dubbed the ‘Big Brother’ vehicle, offers a comprehensive approach to enforcement. With advanced cameras and surveillance tech, it detects speeding, mobile phone usage, seatbelt violations, and more.
16. Long Ranger Mobile Speed Camera: Enforcing from a Distance
The Long Ranger camera, capable of catching speeding drivers from over half a mile away, is aptly named the ‘Lone Ranger.’ Besides speed enforcement, it detects tailgating, seatbelt violations, and mobile phone usage.
17. Traffic Light Cameras: Beyond Red-Light Offenses
Contrary to assumptions, traffic light cameras, triggered by radar or ground loops, can also enforce speed limits. Operating at junctions, they capture images of vehicles jumping red lights and measure speed similar to Gatso cameras.
18. Handheld Speed Guns: Advanced Enforcement on the Move
Traditional handheld speed guns have evolved into advanced devices like the LTI 20/20 TruCam II. Costing around £10,000, it not only measures speed but identifies vehicle make, model, and reads number plates from impressive distances. Integrated GPS and AI enhance its capabilities for comprehensive enforcement.
UK’s Speed Camera Landscape: Prolific Sections Revealed
A recent study into speed camera enforcement uncovered the most prolific sections of roads, with the A40 in North-West London topping the list. Data from 36 out of 46 UK police forces provide insights into the top 10 roads where drivers are most commonly caught by speed cameras.
Conclusion: Navigating the Speed Enforcement Matrix
With over 1,300 operating speed cameras across the UK, drivers navigate a sophisticated matrix of enforcement technologies. Whether it’s the iconic Digital Gatso or the cutting-edge VECTOR-SR, understanding the diverse landscape is crucial for staying on the right side of the law.