Home > Ask Our Experts > What are the Rules Regarding a GATSO Camera?

What are the Rules Regarding a GATSO Camera?

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 1 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Gatso Speed Camera Speed Enforcement

Q.

I am wondering if it is possible to be prosecuted from a GATSO camera pointing in the wrong direction? I was leaving a 30 mph speed area late at night and accelerated to about 35 mph about 100yds before the area finished. There was a GATSO on the far side of the road pointing towards my vehicle and it flashed me as I passed.

I thought this to be very dangerous as it was raining and it temporarily blinded me as I was looking at the camera when it went off. I didnt think it was possible to set off a GATSO unless it was looking at the back of the car? Will I get prosecuted?
(Mr R White, 11 January 2009)

A.

To properly answer your question, we need to look at the two most popular types of speed camera used in the UK today.

Truvelo Speed Cameras

Forward facing cameras that are designed to take images of the front of a vehicle as it passes in front of the camera. In many cases this allows authorities to be able to identify who was actually driving the car at the time the offence was committed.

When forward-facing, Truvelo cameras utilise an infra-red flash system, which means there is no bright flashing light to blind an oncoming driver. The infra-red trigger relies on the painted white lines and strips in the road that are used to measure vehicle speed.

Gatso Speed Cameras

The most common Type of Speed Camera used in the UK, traditionally rear facing, so that the flash set off when the camera captures a vehicle image does not blind approaching motorists. It is common for authorities to position Gatso cameras so that they can be turned around to check both sides of the road, but they can only do this in one direction at a time.

Caught Speeding?

So, although many motorists believe that you can only be caught out by a speed camera pointing towards the back of your car, this isn’t the case. However if you are flashed from the front by a Truvelo, as explained above, they do this with the use of infra-red technology which removes the questionable safety aspect of having a camera flash in someone's eyes while they are driving.

New Technology

In addition to the two main types of camera used, there are new smaller gatso-style cameras, popular on the continent, and currently being tested in various parts of the UK. These are able to take shots from both the front and back of a vehicle passing through the camera calibration area.

If a camera of this type is being used, you will see camera calibration lines on both sides of the road in question as the camera can cover both lanes of the carriageway, detecting and recording the speed of vehicles passing over the calibration lines, regardless of which side of the road they are being driven on. If there were no lines on the side of the road you were travelling on, then your speed won't have been measured and you won't receive an NIP.

In your case, if you think the camera that ‘flashed’ you from the front was a gatso then it would raise the question as to why a camera that uses a blinding flash rather than a safe infra-red beam is being used to capture on-coming motorists. The best thing to do would be to wait and see if you receive your Notice of Intended Prosecution and if so, find out who maintains the camera and make a formal complaint to them detailing your reservations about the safety of the cameras that they are using. Hopefully this will get you some answers. If you don't get an NIP you might want to consider doing this anyway.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Dave - Your Question:
Can a speed camera catch you doing an illegal turn? I think it was a rear facing gatso. I was not speeding at the time.

Our Response:
Speed cameras are usually set up to detect speeding vehicles so it might be unlikely that you'll be penalised for this. Some city and town centres have cameras that monitor traffic/road violation such as driving on a bus way, driving up a one way road the wrong way etc. If this was such a camera, you might expect something in the post soon.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-May-18 @ 2:22 PM
Can a speed camera catch you doing an illegal turn? Ithink it was a rear facing gatso. I was not speeding at the time.
Dave - 16-May-18 @ 10:57 AM
I have been sent a notice to say I was speeding. I checked online and it states the camera in particular is only a red might canera. There are also no lines on the road. Should I query it?
Jenny88 - 3-Apr-18 @ 7:15 PM
LA - Your Question:
I was driving South on the A1 in the Scottish Borders and was flashed by a camera in front on the opposite side of the road. The flash was very bright. I admit I was speeding, doing 76 in a 60 so I know by rights I deserve the points / fine but just wanted to check if this type of flash from a speed camera facing me would record my speed or would it record cars from the rear only? Thank you.

Our Response:
This depends on the type of speed camera; som can capture speeds in either direction.
NoPenaltyPoints - 3-Apr-18 @ 2:44 PM
I was driving South on the A1 in the Scottish Borders and was flashed by a camera in front on the opposite side of the road.The flash was very bright.I admit i was speeding, doing 76 in a 60 so I know by rights I deserve the points / fine but just wanted to check if this type of flash from a speed camera facing me would record my speed or would it record cars from the rear only? Thank you.
LA - 30-Mar-18 @ 5:28 PM
Hi I was driving down the m4 by Newport and was doing 60 thru the variable speed limit section there was no speed limit set and camera flashed infront of me? Have they caught me or did the camera flash on the other side
Ej - 27-Mar-18 @ 11:35 AM
Reece64 - Your Question:
I have recently been working in a new area for a period of 4 days and am completely paranoid I may have got multiple speeding tickets as there was a road which went from 30 to 50 but just before and after the 50 sign there were average speed cameras and it made me second guess myself every time I passed them. I am really worried that I did get tickets (I know I have to wait) and wondered if I have will they be grouped together? I am more than happy to pay a fine if I have broken the law but this amount of tickets would surely result in a ban??? Driving is essential for my job. Any advice or guidance would be great. No haters we all make mistakes

Our Response:
No they probably wouldn't be grouped together. If you do receive multiple NIPs you may have to seek professional legal advice.
NoPenaltyPoints - 23-Jan-18 @ 3:13 PM
I was flash twice by the but I saw the lights changing to amber and applied my breaks to stop my van and was stationary at the lights when the second flash went off and didn’t continue my journey till the lights turned red,so will I get fine and 3 points??
Willo - 22-Jan-18 @ 9:54 PM
I have recently been working in a new area for a period of 4 days and am completely paranoid I may have got multiple speeding tickets as there was a road which went from 30 to 50 but just before and after the 50 sign there were average speed cameras and it made me second guess myself every time I passed them. I am really worried that I did get tickets (I know I have to wait) and wondered if I have will they be grouped together? I am more than happy to pay a fine if I have broken the law but this amount of tickets would surely result in a ban??? Driving is essential for my job. Any advice or guidance would be great. No haters we all make mistakes
Reece64 - 20-Jan-18 @ 8:07 PM
Hi, I have been caught speeding 52 in a 30 zone (industrial estate no clear signs stating 30mph, raced home as my neighbor was building a fence on my land with out permission). I have admitted I was driving and I received my fine which was 6 points and 650GBP. Can I appeal against the penalty? It was very harsh considering it was my first offence. I put on the form that my wife is on maternity, she is not getting paid and that I earn 24000GBP a year (Self Employed Reflected on my P45). I also put a true reflection of my outgoings which is virtually all my pay as I have three children. I don't disagree with getting a fine or the points but this is extortionate especially near Christmas. Please Please Help??
Quinn - 20-Dec-17 @ 12:26 PM
Travelling along an A road at 01-56am the street lights were turned off,so very dark also I think the camera is half hidden behind a road sign .The camera flashed me doing 37mph (I know this is wrong),but should you be able to see the camera .Just upset being the first speeding fine in 32years
Unhappy - 19-Oct-17 @ 11:50 AM
Got flashed by an old style Gatso on a single carriageway it was in the left hand lane but I tried to avoid it by going on the other side of the road can it still see me if I’m on the other side?
Micky - 17-Oct-17 @ 8:06 PM
Do any of the old style gatso guns work?
Ashley - 9-Sep-17 @ 8:57 PM
Hi I was driving down a 30mph doing over that i crossed over the wrong side of the road to try and avoid the camera but still got flashed will I get fined even thoughthere are not and lines in the middle of the road to judge my speed on that side of the road? Or could I apeal it? Thanks
Ad - 6-Sep-17 @ 11:40 PM
Ad - Your Question:
Hi I was driving down a 30mph left hand lane doing over 30mph I think, I crossed over the wrong side of the road to the right hand side but still got flashed will I get fined even though there are not and line marking in the middle of the road to judge my speed on the right hand side of the road? Or could I appeal it? Thanks, it was a gatso

Our Response:
The line markings serve as additional evidence but lack of them does not mean you will be able to appeal.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Sep-17 @ 9:25 AM
Hi I was driving down a 30mph left hand lane doing over 30mph I think, i crossed over the wrong side of the road to the right hand side but still got flashed will I get fined even though there are not and line marking in the middle of the road to judge my speed on the right hand side of the road? Or could I appeal it? Thanks, it was a gatso
Ad - 2-Sep-17 @ 5:03 AM
I was driving down a 30 doing 39 when I realised I had just entered to the calibration area for a gatso camera, so I quickly slowed my car down to around 32 before I exited the calibration area. I didn't see any flash come from the camera so I guess my question is... Are you caught by the speed cameras instantly or just at the last point of the calibration area?
Geezer95 - 19-Jul-17 @ 11:38 PM
Mike- Your Question:
Was driving earlier doin about 75 to 80 mph and there was an unmarked car on an embankment with a speed gun pointing down the left hand lane of the motorway he was hidden in the long grass so couldn't really see him until I went passed can the gun scan all vehicles in three lanes or just one at a time in the lane it's pointing at. Also been told if I was under 80 mph it's likely I won't get a ticket this true?

Our Response:
This really depends what type of camera is in use. Generally, the hand held ones focus on one lane only. Tickets can be issued at any speed above the limit really. Action is not usually taken at speeds of under 75 in a 70.
NoPenaltyPoints - 4-Jul-17 @ 10:12 AM
Was driving earlier doin about 75 to 80 mph and there was an unmarked car on an embankment with a speed gun pointing down the left hand lane of the motorway he was hidden in the long grass so couldn't really see him until I went passed can the gun scan all vehicles in three lanes or just one at a time in the lane it's pointing at. Also been told if I was under 80 mph it's likely I won't get a ticket this true?
Mike - 2-Jul-17 @ 7:02 PM
I have been driving the same road (A90) for over 10 years. I have always sat at 80mph with the cruise control on even through the fixed GATSO cameras with no issues until the other week heading south bound towards Dundee when I was flashed and then received the dreaded letter saying I was doing 80 in a 70. Yes I know I was speeding but Is it legal for the cameras to be re-calibrated to a tighter restriction without notifying people as I guess 100s of people will be caught out by this sneaky re calibrated camera.
bigbillyjobob - 17-Jun-17 @ 9:37 PM
Would you see the flash off a gatso speed camera if you had been caught speeding
Steve888 - 5-Jun-17 @ 9:43 AM
A97 - Your Question:
I got flashed by a camera in the left hand lane but I was on the wrong side of the road. There are road markings on both sides however will the camera have captured me whilst I was on the other side of the road or do they only capture the side the camera is on? It is a gatso camera.

Our Response:
Some cameras can capture both rear and front facing speeds but the gatso only captures you from the rear. Be sure it wasn't an alternative type of camera such as the truvelo, which captures speeds of vehicles travelling towards it.
NoPenaltyPoints - 8-May-17 @ 12:56 PM
I got flashed by a camera in the left hand lane but I was on the wrong side of the road. There are road markings on both sides however will the camera have captured me whilst I was on the other side of the road or do they only capture the side the camera is on? It is a gatso camera.
A97 - 6-May-17 @ 8:22 PM
Carl - Your Question:
Hi went past a gastro speed camera can they still send you a nip if there is no white lines on the road

Our Response:
Yes, the road markings are sometimes used as additional evidence but lack of them does prevent a penalty.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Mar-17 @ 2:05 PM
Hi went past a gastro speed camera can they still send you a nip if there is no white lines on the road
Carl - 14-Mar-17 @ 8:06 PM
I went past and saw a camera van parked up and the officers had lowered a gatso fixed camera to work on it and as I went passed it the gatso flashed and then I received a ticket saying I was doing 60mph in a 40 ! I use the road daily and always stick to the limits so surely the camera can't be working within its calibration whilst down and open ??
Sam75 - 25-Feb-17 @ 5:04 PM
Hi I was traveling along cambridge and got flashed twice is this taking my number platefrom behind or front
Sam - 13-Jan-17 @ 9:52 PM
Just looking for some advice. I was driving along the A4 at Thatcham heading eastbound with a camera facing me on the other side of the road (facing west). There were no white markings on my side of the road but the camera flashed. Will this have captured my number plate? I don't know whether it was a Truvelo or Gatso camera but think I might probably get a fine... any thoughts?
Jonah - 7-Jan-17 @ 11:32 PM
Mike - Your Question:
I was going down a13 and went through a set of lights just gone amber and got flashed once What does this mean will happen

Our Response:
You should wait 14 days to see if a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) is issued. If not, there will be no further action. The most common penalty for running a red light is 3 penalty points plus £100 fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Dec-16 @ 2:00 PM
I was going down a13 and went through a set of lights just gone amber and got flashed once What does this mean will happen
Mike - 20-Dec-16 @ 9:28 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the NoPenaltyPoints website. Please read our Disclaimer.