Motorists have been told to become familiar with the various types of speed cameras used in Britain after official figures revealed more than half of cars break the limit on 30mph roads. The most common speed cameras on UK roads include:

Handheld Speed Guns

These are used by police or volunteers at the side of the residential roads. The radar devices capture the speed of any passing car. They are highly visible patrols and anyone caught speeding can be issued a ticket.

Gatso Speed Cameras

These are the ‘classic’ standard speed cameras which have been on roads since the 1990s. They are rear facing and capture the car and number plate when driven past fast enough to trigger it.

Infrared Night Time Speeding Sensors can also capture number plates in the dark in some locations. They are used in conjunction with speed cameras to capture cars speeding after nightfall..

Forward Facing Speed Cameras

These are similar to Gatso speed cameras but instead face forwards. They trigger only when drivers speed past them faster than the speed limit for that road, rather than filming everything that goes by.

Average Speed Cameras

On motorways, these tend to be used during roadworks rather than all the time and are separate to normal motorway cameras. On non-motorways, Average Speed Cameras can be in place permanently.

They record how long all vehicles that pass take to travel between two points and calculate an average speed to see if the car broke the speed limit.

Overhead Smart Motorway Cameras

These speed cameras can be overhead or on the floor. They only trigger when cars speed past, making them different to average speed cameras. Previously they could only be switched on when the overhead signs are on, but the newer smart cameras can catch anyone at any time.

Onboard Police Vehicle Cameras

Police cars can record speed as they travel behind any vehicle. On-board computers and cameras are installed on the police cars, tracking the vehicle infront’s position relative to nearby objects like lampposts to work out the travelling speed.

For more advice about safer driving and brushing up on the rules of the road, head over to