West Yorkshire Casualty Prevention Partnership

Camera equipment and site

Q - How do you know that the equipment is accurate?

A - All devices used are statutorily Home Office Approved for the purpose. This is a demanding process, first entailing extensive user operational trials on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in different Police Force and Partnership areas. If successfully completed, the submitted equipment is then subject to rigorous scientific examination by the Home Office Scientific Development Branch. There is a requirement for all devices to be recalibrated by or on behalf of the manufacturer. Devices are also recalibrated if substantial work has been carried out making this necessary. Other checking arrangements vary with the type of equipment, checks being carried out as frequently as appropriate. Checks are also carried out on each occasion a fixed camera is loaded or unloaded. Some devices (fixed systems designated as 'automatic operation') have independent secondary check facilities. Others (mobile systems designated as 'attended actively operated') confirm the opinion of a trained operator that the vehicle was exceeding the speed limit.

Q - How can I be assured that the mobile speed detection equipment is working within its specified ranges if you do not hold exact information as to where the mobile vehicle was positioned?

A - The speed detection equipment is checked for range at the start and end of each day over a fixed calibrated length at the police station. It is immaterial where the vehicle is parked.

Q - Can you please provide information on the training the operator has received and their understanding of that training, also can you please confirm that the operator was wearing a full police uniform and highly visibility jackets whilst operating the mobile

A - All operators are trained by experienced and qualified professionals then tested on their understanding of the processes involved. The operator works from within the confines of a vehicle. These vehicles are fully marked and liveried police vehicles which are highly visible. There is no requirement for the operator to wear any garment if they are sat within the confines of a vehicle.

Q - Was the vehicle / fixed camera highly visible in rainy conditions, from 100 meters? Were the vehicle doors open or closed? If it had roof lights what was the major colour seen by an approaching motorist?

A - Visibility conforms to the conspicuous guidelines set out by the Department of Transport. Note that non-compliance with these guidelines does not provide mitigation of, or defence for an alleged offence.


Q - I have an image of my car on the motorway alleged to be speeding and the image has two yellow lines across the road and a green ellipse on my vehicle, can you tell me what these are there for ?

A - The two yellow lines indicate the radar beams crossing the carriageway from the camera and capturing the subject vehicle speeding, it will cross over the vehicle to show this is the vehicle being tracked. The green Ellipse shows the strongest part of the signal returning to the camera from the subject vehicle which is speeding. This is how the correct vehicle is identified in the imagery.

Q - How can you confirm that the vehicle or fixed camera was highly visible and positioned so that oncoming motorists could check their speed?

A - The West Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership work within NPCC guidelines, however these are as stated, guidelines and working outside them does not give mitigating circumstances or a legal defence to a speeding or red-light offence. The vehicles have high visibility "Battenberg" livery with the words police written down both sides, with box brownie camera symbols on all sides of the vehicle. Fixed cameras are covered in a reflective coating or painted yellow, though the appearance of the equipment used has no bearing on the offence. Signing and visibility are checked prior to enforcement commencing or a camera being deployed. The camera signing, visibility and conspicuity guidance has no bearing on the enforcement of offences. Non-compliance with this guidance does not provide any mitigation of, or defence for, an alleged offence committed under current UK law. The West Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership wherever possible, adhere to the guidelines to be open, honest and transparent, but do have the ability to work overtly or covertly for a policing purpose.

Q - Among the Partnership, who purchases the automated enforcement systems used in your county? Who determines which manufacturer of enforcement systems is to be used? Who is responsible for the operations of the automated enforcement?

A - The responsibility falls between local authority highway engineers, the safety camera coordinator, partnership staff and individual camera suppliers. We do not document approval for enforcement locations as representatives from the West Yorkshire Police and Local Authority attend numerous site visits together prior to going live. This has no bearing on the validity of an alleged offence.

Q - Why is the section of road covered by mobile speed cameras rather than other speed detection devices, is it due to collisions scattered along the length of the road, due to the time of day, or period in the year?

A - Enforcement type is chosen according to road layout, the number of collisions and traffic flow data. Does there have to be a certain number of collisions for enforcement to be legal? The Partnership continues to only enforce at pre-authorised sites, that have been identified as a high risk of collision. This is with reference to collision and traffic flow data; however, this is not a legally binding operational requirement for enforcement.

Q - Does there have to be a certain number of collisions for enforcement to be legal?

A - The partnership continues to only enforce at pre-authorised locations that have been identified as a high risk of collision. However, this is not a legally binding operational requirement for enforcement.

Q - Is it still legal / why are you still enforcing if there hasn’t been a collision nearby in a long while?

A - It is still legal. If the collision rate has fallen since enforcement began, this is viewed as a success. If enforcement were ended, we would expect the number of collisions to rise again.

Q - Do other road safety schemes have to have been tried before enforcement is used?

A - A Senior highways engineer is involved at an early stage of any new scheme. If it is deemed that an alternative would be a more cost-effective solution to an area with a high number of collisions, this would always be used in preference. There would be no reason to spend more money than necessary.

Q – Why are you increasing the use of speed cameras?

A - Excessive or inappropriate speed is a known factor in many collisions. By encouraging drivers to drive at safe speeds within the limit, the Safety Camera Partnership aims to prevent the death and injury and the consequent harm to communities caused by these avoidable tragedies. The Partnership recognises that the criteria previously used to determine enforcement location was overly restrictive and did not provide the basis on which to respond to community concerns before deaths or serious injury occurred. These changes will enable a more proactive response to speed-related risks whilst demonstrating an evidenced-based justification for their use

Q - Can you legally enforce without warning signs that speed cameras are in use? 

A - Yes, safety camera enforcement can be undertaken without camera warning signs. These are not mandatory. The only mandatory signage relates to speed limits and providing the signs erected on a road are the speed limit/ restriction signs (where these are required in law) enforcement can be undertaken. Camera warning signs may be used but are not mandatory. Our aim is to encourage road users to drive at safe speeds across the network and not just in the vicinity of locations they anticipate enforcement.

Q – Are speed cameras replacing police officers?

A – No, safety cameras are used to support enforcement activity undertaken by police officers. The use of camera technology provides an additional means to make the roads safer. Cameras are used at pre-determined locations identified against specific criteria, whereas police officers may enforce speed limits either overtly or covertly at any time and location.

Q - Can I have a speed camera on our street?

A – Community concerns are one factor which may result in the use of a camera provided there is evidence of a collision history and/or traffic survey revealing speed limit violations meeting the required threshold. Local authorities will apply the new criteria to determine whether the use of either fixed or mobile cameras is justified and will then work with the Camera Enforcement Unit to assess the feasibility of using camera technology in the specific location under consideration.

Q - Do other road safety schemes have to have been tried before enforcement is used?

A - A senior highways engineer is involved at an early stage of any new scheme. If it is deemed that an alternative would provide a more cost-effective solution to an area with a high number of collisions, this would always be used in preference. 

Q - Are the road signs legal?

A - All road signs must conform to Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. All lengths of road where enforcement is undertaken comply with this when they are set up and are checked before mobile enforcement commences or fixed camera housings are loaded on subsequent occasions. The presence or absence of a speed enforcement sign does not negate a speed offence. These signs are not mandatory, and the only mandatory signs erected on a road are the speed limit/ restriction signs (where required in law).

Q - How do I know what the speed limit of the road is, if there are no signs?

A - All roads are subject to a 30-mph speed limit, unless signs indicate otherwise, if no signs are present where there are a series of three or more street light columns, it is deemed to be 30 mph, until indicated otherwise (as stated in the Highway Code).

Q- Has the speed limit been assessed as appropriate?

A - Yes. Any contrary opinion regarding the safe speed at which a given length of road can be driven is not considered a valid defence in court. If a speed limit has been lowered as a casualty prevention measure but is ignored, enforcement may follow. 

Q - How do I know it was my vehicle speeding when there are more than one in the photograph in a ‘Truvelo D Cam’ safety camera image?

A - The offending vehicles wheels will be within a series of three white lines on the carriageway and will be surrounded by four small green marks forming the corners of a box in the offence image.

Q - The flash went straight into my eyes.

A - The Home Office type approval for any camera type is very thorough and examines all aspects and workings of the device. Similarly, the power of the flash unit is thoroughly examined and is set up at site as per the type of approval set out by the Home Office.

Q - Can I have a Calibration Certificate?

A - The calibration certificate does not form part of the Home Office type approval so is not really required. However, we can provide a copy as we do calibrate cameras for a confidence measure for both ourselves and members of the public alike. The lack of a calibration certificate does not necessarily negate a speeding offence if it does not exist or is out of date.

Q - I wasn’t speeding, I never speed as I know where the cameras are located.

A - Every speeding offence undergoes a manual secondary check so if it did not comply with all required tolerances then it would not have been processed.
If there is any doubt, then it can be rechecked by a film verifier.

Q - How do you know it was my car speeding on the motorway. (Hadecs3)

A - The motorway cameras use sophisticated dual radar technology to measure the speed of all vehicles travelling underneath the gantry. The image generated will have an ellipse on the rear of the offending vehicle.

Q - The speed limit changed when I went under the HADECS 3 speed camera on the motorway gantry.

A - The speed camera system has an extra camera that checks that all the signage showing on the gantries is correct. The camera will not enforce if there is the slightest problem with the signs.

When the variable speed limit changes these extra cameras detect the change and place the speed camera intro non-enforcement mode for a specific period before enforcing the new speed limit.

Q - I have got a speeding ticket and the camera didn’t flash.

A - Not every speed camera situated in West Yorkshire uses a flash. There are some cameras that use infra-red technology and not the use of a flash.


The information given on this website is compiled by West Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership from a variety of sources and every effort is made to ensure it is accurate. However, no liability will be accepted by West Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership or its agents if it isn't./frequently-asked-questions/validity-of-offences