In Sussex, we use Gatso cameras which use radar to detect vehicles driving over a speed threshold and then record two images of the vehicle.
On each image the date, time and speed is recorded. We also verify the speed by measuring how many of the white marks on the road the vehicle has passed between the first image and the second.
Most of our cameras are now digital, the offence images are sent via the 3G and ISDN line network to the back office after the offence has been detected.
These cameras are mounted in the hi-viz camera vans and move from location to location.
The camera operator assesses the speed of an approaching vehicle and if they believe it is exceeding the speed limit they will use the laser on the camera to verify the speed and record the date, time and speed and this is all captured on real time video.
Average speed cameras
These cameras work by recording the time that a vehicle enters and exits the zone covered by the camera system.
Each zone is calibrated so that the distance between each camera in known and using the time recorded by each camera the speed of the vehicle between the two points can be calculated.
We are currently installing two permanent sites in Sussex for Average Speed Cameras, in Hastings and Brighton, and these will go live later this year.
Red light cameras
These cameras monitor junctions and record images of vehicles which fail to stop at the stop lines at red traffic lights.
The cameras are linked to the traffic signals and loops in the road which sense when vehicles drive over them.
When the images from these cameras are received by the Partnership, we can clearly see the time that the lights went amber, when they went red, which lane the vehicle was in and when the vehicle triggered the system.
Sussex Police are running a campaign that looks to tackle motorists who are trying to pervert the course of justice in regards to speeding tickets. Attempting to avoid responsibility for your safety camera offences can be done by:
falsely nominating another person, someone who does not exist, or someone who lives abroad
falsely nominating an address known as a “dead letter drop”
accepting an offer from someone who says they can dispose of your offence in exchange for money
altering the appearance of the vehicle and claiming it has been cloned
The Central Ticketing and Summons Unit have a dedicated team who looks into and reviews all correspondence in relation to motoring offences. They have access to a large number of police and commercial databases to be able to identify false claims. Once recognised, these are robustly dealt with through the court system.
Perverting the course of justice is a very serious offence which can result in life imprisonment. Being convicted of this would give you a criminal record, which would affect employment opportunities, and travel to foreign countries. Points on your licence for a speeding ticket get removed after four years, whereas a criminal record for perverting the course of justice is permanent.
From Monday 24 April, motorists caught speeding could be fined more than they are at present. Fines for motorists driving well over the speed limit will start from 150 per cent of their weekly income rather than the existing level of 100 per cent, up to a maximum of £1000 or £2500 if caught on a motorway.
Following consultation in 2016, revised Sentencing Council guidelines issued to the magistrates' courts now place a greater emphasis on the potential harm that speeding poses and the risk to the public. The Sentencing Council have said the move aims to ensure there is a ‘clear increase in penalty as the seriousness of offending increases’.
As an example, someone who is sentenced for speeding at 101mph or faster in a 70mph limit will be dealt with in a more severe bracket. Inspector Chris Collins of Sussex Police commented, "The increase in sentencing power for magistrates sends out a clear message that those drivers who pose higher risks by speeding will now face harsher penalties. The aim of this is make more drivers abide by the speed limits."