Motoring experts have said that police failed to set up a faulty Southampton speed camera properly causing it to incorrectly record people speeding – and there are at least six other cameras in the UK that could have had the same problem.
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Infuriated road users who were caught ‘speeding’ from Somerset to Cumbria have contacted MailOnline to reveal their stories of being snapped by ‘faulty’ speed cameras.
Residents have reported rogue devices that ‘flash at everything’ in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, Saltford in Bath, Anwick in Lincolnshire, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, Colwick in Nottinghamshire and Llangollen in Wales.
Now industry experts fear ‘camera calibration issues’ and even human error could be costing motorists millions in incorrectly issued fines.
One industry source told MailOnline that they feared the faulty Southampton speed camera’s ‘depth of perception’ could be broken and that ‘failsafe’ markings on the road that are used to measure a driver’s speed were ‘clearly not working as they should’.
And those drivers caught by faulty cameras still face the prospect of years of higher insurance costs according to the AA, with premiums rising once motorists accept a driving prosecution.
There are at least 13 different types of speed cameras used to enforce speed limits across the UK, but the one causing most chaos for motorists with faulty readings and repeated flashes is the Gastrometer T24, MailOnline understands.
Police forces refuse to reveal the exact types of cameras that are being used in their territories, but it is understood there are approximately 4,000 Home Office approved Gatsometer speed cameras in the UK.
‘Faulty’ speed cameras across Britain could have cost motorists millions in incorrectly issued fines and penalty notices. Pictured, left: Speed camera on Bristol Road, Burnham-on-Sea. Right: The speed camera on the A153, Main Road, Anwick
Motorists complained the speed camera in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester (left) was ‘flashing everything that passed it’, while others explained they were incorrectly caught by Daleside Road East in Colwick, Nottinghamshire (right)
Motorists have previously reported being caught on ‘faulty’ cameras that ‘flash at everything’ in Bristol, all the way up to Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria
Delivery driver Harley Golder used dashcam footage (above) which showed he was actually driving at 24mph to challenge the broken speed camera’s claims that he was travelling at 48mph
The minimum fine for exceeding the 30mph limit in that area is £100 and it is understood the camera will have brought in more than £5.1m in revenue from drivers over a three year period
Other examples of people fighting back against malfunctioning speed traps include HGV specialist drivers successfully reversing punishments caused by faulty speed cameras.
A spokesperson for the Alliance for Drivers said: ‘There have been previous cases of the likes of lorry drivers with tachographs that log their speed being able to successfully challenge erroneous camera speed measurements.
‘There was also a long battle against the Laser device known as the LTI 20-20 over alleged inaccurate speed measurements, but no driver had sufficient funding to take on the camera manufacturer or the UK courts.’
It comes as Britain’s ‘busiest speed camera’ that raked in an estimated £5million in fines was revealed to have been ‘incorrectly recording’ speeds, as furious motorists slammed the force for keeping the flawed device active.
The 30mph speed camera in Maybray King Way, Southampton, caught 51,049 motorists driving over the limit between 2015 and 2017, triggering more than 320 times a week at its peak.
The minimum fine for exceeding the 30mph limit in that area is £100 and it is understood the camera will have brought in more than £5.1m in fines from drivers over a three year period.
But Hampshire Police has now admitted the speed-busting camera has been recording ‘incorrect readings’ for vehicles with a ‘high flat rear’ – meaning any number of drivers could now be owed refunds.
Other local councils across the country have had to reassure drivers they would not be penalised if caught by rogue cameras that ‘flash at everything’.
In Nottinghamshire, residents slammed a faulty camera that would incorrectly flash even if nothing drove past it on the busy Daleside Road in Colwick – prompting Nottinghamshire County Council to explain no-one would be hit with fines, reports NottinghamshireLive.
Meanwhile, damning video footage shows a driver in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester driving by the broken camera in 30mph Bolton Road. Despite his speedometer reading 24mph, he was flashed along with every other passing car.
Similar situations have been reported in Llangollen, Wales, Anwick, Lincs., Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and Saltford in Somerset in the past 12 months – leading to questions over the accuracy of cameras.
Hampshire Police has since apologised after mistakenly sending fines out to two motorists who were able to prove they were clearly under the speed limit when caught on Maybray King Way.
Now in the wake of these revelations, hundreds of people have contacted MailOnline to share their experiences of being erroneously caught by the camera.
The rear-facing device, which records motorists’ speed after they passed it, remains in place on the dual carriageway, as those caught by the speed-busting camera slam the inaccurate readings.
Motorists driving taller vehicles including SUVs, vans, motorhomes, lorries and more have borne the brunt of the false camera activations, MailOnline understands.
More than 175,000 people were caught speeding in the UK in the most recently shared figures from the Department for Transport.
Damning video footage shows a driver in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester driving by the broken camera in Bolton Road. Despite his speedometer reading 24mph, he was flashed (above) along with every other passing car
Map shows the camera on Maybray King Way, Mr Thompson was travelling from west to east when it wrongly recorded him doing 50mph
At its peak, the camera in Southampton caught 70 motorists a day between 2015 and 2017 – with revenue in those three years alone estimated to be more than £5m.
But Hampshire Police has now warned the device has been activating in error, meaning hundreds of drivers may have faced punishment unnecessarily.
Outraged motorists have shared their experiences, with Harley Golder, another delivery driver, being recorded driving at 49mph.
That error could have cost him six points on his drivers license as his dashcam correctly showed he was actually driving at 24mph.
Mr Golder said the reasons provided by the police were ‘ridiculous’ as the force claimed it was due to the ‘dark colour’ of his Land Rover.
He wrote on Facebook: ‘Recently I’ve been continuously getting flashed by a speed camera on Maybray King Way (Eastbound) Southampton.
‘I received a NIP [Notice of Intended Prosecution] stating that I was caught speeding at 49mph in a 30mph zone (dash cam states I’m doing 24mph).
‘Don’t be afraid to question speeding tickets. The reason I’m being flashed is due to my type of car a Land Rover Defender and the fact that my vehicle is dark – a ridiculous excuse!’
Another delivery driver with 15 years of experience caught going at 48mph on his motorbike.
Bruno Aguiar has never had a fine or accident since he started driving more than a decade ago, and was shocked to receive a court summons from Hampshire Police when they claimed he was going almost 20mph over the speed limit.
Other motorists have also now come forward to protest their innocence and share their experiences on the dual carriageway.
Keith Barnes told MailOnline he was driving a small trailer when he was caught by the faulty camera on the A3024 Maybray dual carriageway.
Mr Barnes opted for a £90 driving awareness course in lieu of a fine or points punishment in 2016, and fears he won’t get their money back now.
Trevor Langford explained that he was caught twice within two hours on the same stretch of road in 2019, paying for one fine and opting for a speed awareness course and points on his license for the other.
Marc Miller took to Facebook to explain: ‘I was driving a three wheel van and the camera said 70mph – you couldn’t get it to do 70mph if you pushed it off a cliff.’
Mark Crosby wrote: ‘This happened to me, exactly same place said I was doing 88mph in a van going up the hill.
‘I was sent the paperwork from the police, a few days later I was sent more paperwork saying the camera had malfunctioned and no further action was to be taken.’
Outraged motorists including Mark Crosby (left) have now come forward to share their experiences of the faulty camera, with Marc Miller (right) explaining he was caught ‘speeding’ at 70mph by the camera
Delivery driver Bruno Aguiar (pictured above) has never had a fine or accident since he started driving more than a decade ago, and was shocked to receive a court summons from Hampshire Police when they claimed he was going almost 20mph over the speed limit
Police have now warned the device has been activating in error, meaning hundreds of drivers may have faced punishment unnecessarily. Pictured: A Hampshire Police speeding fine sent to Bruno Aguiar
Outraged motorists have shared their experiences of being caught by the faulty speed camera online
Responding to the news, a drivers’ organisation today called on authorities to refund every driver fined as a result of being recorded by the camera.
Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: ‘With increased commercial tracking and recording of journeys through onboard telematics, including speeds, road enforcement authorities need to make sure their equipment is accurate all the time.
‘If not, and more speeding tickets are successfully challenged, there is a danger that the nearly 80 percent public approval of speed cameras will be undermined.’
At least two drivers have so far been able to prove they were incorrectly penalised by the faulty camera, with NHS IT worker Nathan Thompson saying he could have lost his job over the matter.
NHS IT worker Nathan Thompson said he could have lost his job when the speed camera incorrectly penalised him while driving his Roller Team Auto-Roller 500 motorhome (pictured)
Mr Thompson was able to use evidence to prove he was not travelling at 52mph, as suggested by a notice of intended prosecution (above)
Mr Thompson was able to use GPS tracking footage (above) to prove he was not speeding and instead was travelling at 24mph when questioned by Hampshire Police
Father-of-two Mr Thompson was flashed by the camera as he drove his Roller Team Auto-Roller 500 motorhome at 25mph in August, but was thankfully able to prove the mistake using his dash camera footage.
After receiving a letter which said he could be prosecuted for travelling at twice his actual speed – in excess of 50mph – the 37-year-old fought back against the fine and saw it quashed.
The 10 UK speed cameras which have caught the most speeders
1. A3024 Maybray King Way, Southampton – 51,049
2. M62 westbound J20 and J19, Greater Manchester – 38,836
3. A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing, Essex – 38,729
4. A217 Southend arterial road, Essex – 37,950
5. A12 near Stratford St Mary, Suffolk – 36,753
6. North Road, Cardiff, south Wales – 35,884
7. A1 Barrowby Thorns, Lincolnshire – 30,835
8. A45 Ryton Bridge flyover, near Coventry – 27,942
9. M11 near Luxborough Lane Road, Chigwell, Essex – 26,810
10. M4 Port Talbot, south Wales – 25,548
(Activations in calendar years 2015, 2016 and 2017, police data via FOI)
Mr Thompson said: ‘If I was in a hire car or a work car and from outside the area and I didn’t have proof of going 25mph I’d have had to pay it, so I wonder how many other people have been in a similar situation with that camera, as it’s the most profitable in the country.
‘If I didn’t have the evidence that I was going 25mph, then it would have ended up with me going to court.
‘I’d have lost my job. That technology shouldn’t go wrong. It has the potential to seriously ruin lives.’
The rear-facing camera, which records motorists’ speed after passing, remains in place on the dual carriageway.
There is a similar camera on the other side recording motorists travelling in the opposite direction as well.
The Alliance of British Drivers today said every driver snapped by the camera and consequently fined should now be refunded.
Hugh Bladon, one of the founding members of the organisation, said: ‘We are aware that sometimes cameras are not exactly accurate.
‘But for this camera to be recording a driver as travelling at 50mph, something is seriously wrong.
‘Every driver, regardless of what speed he has been shown doing by this camera, should have their fine refunded and any points removed.
‘If people, as a result of this camera, have to do a speed awareness course, that should be refunded as well as together with compensation for the time that the person has had to spend completing it.’
A Hampshire police spokesman today claimed the individual camera is not faulty and incorrect prosecutions had been pursued ‘due to the nature of the technology’ this type of speed camera uses.
When asked, he failed to rule out that other motorists had been wrongly prosecuted and unable to provide the necessary proof to challenge their speeding convictions.
The spokesman said: ‘We won’t be going into the specifics of camera type and how the technology works. But to clarify, the camera doesn’t have a fault, it’s working as per its design and is Home Office approved.
‘It’s simply the nature of the technology in that the signal, when it’s sent and returned, can give a misread.
‘However, we have strict processes in place to validate and verify the images that are supplied to us by the camera to ensure the reading is legitimate before pursuing a prosecution, and to ensure there are no incorrect prosecutions.
‘On these two occasions [Mr Thompson and Mr Golder] the prosecutions were pursued incorrectly, were rightly challenged and subsequently withdrawn.’
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