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Gatso Speed Camera - New Driver - Help? Watch

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    I passed my test at the end of April this year (did Pass Plus in late June) and I'm not one for speeding, but I'm very scared of going through speed cameras with the new driver's act (and my dad being a driving examiner - he'd kill me if I got caught speeding).

    I was out with the two bikes on the bike rack on the car. Me and my friend were trying to find somewhere to eat after cycling and I was driving in an unfamiliar area and made a wrong turn that would take me into Glasgow, where I didn't want to go. So I turned off the road onto a 30mph dual carriageway which was down a reasonably steep hill. I was looking for a road on the right to turn round in and not really looking at the signage at the left hand side of the road. The car was doing little (maybe 5mph) over 30mph and my friend said to me "speed camera" so I put the brakes on. I'm not sure I got the speed down to below 30mph before it and it was a bright day and the interior mirror was obscured by the bike rack - and I was watching the speedometer. My worry is this: if it had flashed, would I have noticed the flash?
    With it being my dad's car (me as a named driver) I believe I have a 6 month wait to be in the clear over this. Assuming the worst happens and I have been flashed - can I go on the speed awareness course? I can't afford points on my license at all. If I can, how do set about going on the course?

    I've never done anything like this before and it was bad luck that I was even in the area. What do you guys recommend I do?
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    (Original post by R. Murray)
    I passed my test at the end of April this year (did Pass Plus in late June) and I'm not one for speeding, but I'm very scared of going through speed cameras with the new driver's act (and my dad being a driving examiner - he'd kill me if I got caught speeding).

    I was out with the two bikes on the bike rack on the car. Me and my friend were trying to find somewhere to eat after cycling and I was driving in an unfamiliar area and made a wrong turn that would take me into Glasgow, where I didn't want to go. So I turned off the road onto a 30mph dual carriageway which was down a reasonably steep hill. I was looking for a road on the right to turn round in and not really looking at the signage at the left hand side of the road. The car was doing little (maybe 5mph) over 30mph and my friend said to me "speed camera" so I put the brakes on. I'm not sure I got the speed down to below 30mph before it and it was a bright day and the interior mirror was obscured by the bike rack - and I was watching the speedometer. My worry is this: if it had flashed, would I have noticed the flash?
    With it being my dad's car (me as a named driver) I believe I have a 6 month wait to be in the clear over this. Assuming the worst happens and I have been flashed - can I go on the speed awareness course? I can't afford points on my license at all. If I can, how do set about going on the course?

    I've never done anything like this before and it was bad luck that I was even in the area. What do you guys recommend I do?
    Depends if the camera was loaded or not. In bright sunlight you might not notice the flash that much. You'll know within 14 days if the registered keeper of the car gets an NIP through the post. If you've not received anything after 14 days, you've not been caught.
    With regards to the speed awareness course, you don't get the choice. The local safety camera partnership (or whoever's issued the ticket) can choose whether or not to offer it to you, but they're not under any obligation (I think) to do so.
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    Speed awareness courses will depend on the area issuing a ticket and if they will put you on one, 3 points doesn't normally make that much to insurance as they're handed out like ASBO's now.

    If it's your dads car registered to his address (not company) then the ticket has 14 working days to appear on his doorstep. Enjoy the wait
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    speedos aren't 100% accurate btw however if the hill was reasonably steep, you'll most likely have done more than 5mph over 30 seeing as you weren't really paying attention to speed but on a road
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    The camera would have flashed twice, taking two pictures. So I reckon you'd probably have noticed being caught
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    I know they're not 100% accurate but I tend to use my rev counter when it's sunny and my sun glasses are on, cos I can see that better for some reason. I've half a mind to go back on my road bike and hit over 30 on it to see if it will flash...
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    Incidentally, would they bother issuing a fine and 3 penalty points when it could only have been up to 5mph over?
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    (Original post by R. Murray)
    Incidentally, would they bother issuing a fine and 3 penalty points when it could only have been up to 5mph over?
    It's £60 in the coffers at the end of the day. Besides, they have to draw the line somewhere.
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    (Original post by Mad Vlad)
    It's £60 in the coffers at the end of the day. Besides, they have to draw the line somewhere.
    I know but they put it at the bottom of a hill. With modern engines, engine braking is minimal and even in 4th the car will build up speed. Makes you think they put it there for money - not safety.
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    It's unlikely you've been caught 1 in 3 get a ticket i think even when it flashes due to no room to record it.

    I think some Gatso's will not flash unless ur going 33+ mph although that's something i heard, not gospel.
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    (Original post by R. Murray)
    I know but they put it at the bottom of a hill. With modern engines, engine braking is minimal and even in 4th the car will build up speed. Makes you think they put it there for money - not safety.
    Well just think how fast you could be going without the camera there. It's there to stop you from tanking it down the hill.
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    (Original post by R. Murray)
    Incidentally, would they bother issuing a fine and 3 penalty points when it could only have been up to 5mph over?
    Yes. The boundary is 10% over the speed limit + 1mph. So for a 30mph zone. 33mph means you are ok whereas 34mph = SP30. However most speedos are generous and the degree to which depends on car age and tire age/pressure.
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    (Original post by Mad Vlad)
    Well just think how fast you could be going without the camera there. It's there to stop you from tanking it down the hill.
    I was (due to looking for a side road for turning) unaware of the speed camera until my friend said "speed camera". So I wasn't "tanking" it down the hill. At most I estimate I was doing 35.

    Does 3 penalty points add that much to an insurance premium?
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    I wouldn't worry about it. The chances are you are ok and it didn't snap you and if it did then there isn't much you can do about it, you will just have to put it down to experience.
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    (Original post by R. Murray)
    I was (due to looking for a side road for turning) unaware of the speed camera until my friend said "speed camera". So I wasn't "tanking" it down the hill. At most I estimated I was doing 35.

    Does 3 penalty points add that much to an insurance premium?
    I don't dispute that. But imagine if other drivers just thought it would be ok to just freewheel down the hill, or keep the gas on. If it was a steep hill, they could be accelerating up to a much higher speed quite easily, hence the speed camera. Was there a junction at the bottom of this hill?

    Not sure about the effect of the points on your premium, though. I've never been clocked.
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    were the bikes covering the number plate by any chance..? :P
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    (Original post by Guy_1991)
    were the bikes covering the number plate by any chance..? :P
    Unfortunately not. I checked that the number plate was visible and the brake lights and indicators were clearly visible before I set off in the morning - what a dumb ass I am.

    There was a junction further along the road. But it was way away from the camera. It was (from what I could see) a good visibility junction which would allow traffic giving way at it plenty of time to judge the speed of traffic on the road.
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    (Original post by R. Murray)
    Unfortunately not. I checked that the number plate was visible and the brake lights and indicators were clearly visible before I set off in the morning - what a dumb ass I am.

    There was a junction further along the road. But it was way away from the camera. It was (from what I could see) a good visibility junction which would allow traffic giving way at it plenty of time to judge the speed of traffic on the road.
    It's not the safety of the junction they're trying to improve with the camera. It's the usability of the junction. There's a similar junction (crossroad) where I live - perfect visibility both ways in a dip but the limit is 30 but is 50 on one side coming down the hill, enforced by speed cameras. It's a busy road, so if the cameras weren't there, you'd struggle to turn out of the junction at peak times if the traffic was going any faster.
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    If it was a true gatso there would be lines painted in the road. Some person in an office somewhere will count the number of lines you've passed in the time period between 2 photos being taken to work out your speed. Did you notice any lines?

    Apparently speed cameras don't have to have any tolerance at all, but most will still have some. Plus there is the limitation of gatsos due to the lines.
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    My experience of a camera flash from a GATSO (it wasn't me being caught, I was about 25 yrds past the lines) is that it goes off like a bomb in your mirrors. Saying that, it was a camera in the central reservation and only I saw it in the mirror, not my passenger, so you might want to ask your friend (if it was on the pavement side) if he saw anything. You gotta remember as well that MOST places operate the tolerance policy advised the Police Chief Association of 10% + 2 on all their cameras, meaning you would have to be doing 35mph before getting a ticket anyway. Some places are higher than this though - North Yorkshire has no Gatso cameras at all and operate a 10% + 4 on all the mobile units.

    Chances are, if you saw nothing, you'll be ok. Keep your eyes open next time
 
 
 
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