Get Up To Speed with Speed Cameras

Speed cameras are an unavoidable part of UK roads.  Smartlearner shares this article to help explain the different types and what to look out for when driving on a UK road with speed cameras.


The Gatso speed camera was introduced in the UK in 1991. It is short for Gatsometer. The camera faces up the road and takes a picture of the rear of a vehicle, this allows it to catch cars, vans and motorcyclists etc. This camera is easy to spot as it has to be painted yellow by law, they are usually mounted on a pole.

 They can also be found on the gantries of motorways. They use a radar to measure the vehicle’s speed. The law states that there needs to be secondary proof of speeding, this is why there are dashed lines painted onto the road surface. A Gatso takes two pictures a fraction of a second apart to see if an offence has been committed. 


Truvelo is also another common type of speed camera in the UK. These types of cameras look similar to a Gatso because they are painted yellow and mounted on a pole. The difference is, truvelo cameras face forward. Like a Gatso, the Truvelo uses a flash to get a clear image of a speeding vehicle’s number plate, but it also has a special filter on the flash that stops it from dazzling drivers. This camera only takes one picture, because the speeding offence is registered by sensors in the road that activate the camera. 

Mobile speed camera vans

These provide temporary coverage in areas where speeding is known to occur. They appear with windows or panels to point cameras through. They are usually located at the side of the road, in laybys, and also bridges etc. The type of camera can be a mini Gatso or handheld radar or laser guns. Mobile camera vans can be set up in any direction to catch speeders, and can just as easily be set up to catch them approaching or going away.


HADECS 3 stands for Highway Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System 3, these are used on Smart Motorways and are mounted onto the gantries. They are made easier to spot thanks to their yellow colour. They are able to pick up traffic in 5 lanes and are able to be used in all weather conditions.

Hadeos Speed Camera

Driving lessons have resumed from the 12th of April, with the practical driving tests returning starting from the 22nd of April. SmartLearner Driving School are currently taking pre bookings for lessons, you can call 0800 118 2001 to speak to our office staff and book your lessons in time for April.

Driving Lessons Post Lockdown

Driving lessons resumed across the UK on the 12 April 2021. In this post we will be explaining how we, as the best driving school in Redditch, are taking extra precautions to keep you safe on your driving lessons in Redditch. SmartLearner Driving School prides ourself on offering affordable and safe manual driving lessons in Redditch and across the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

What are instructors doing to ensure safety on my lessons?

All instructors are taking safety precautions, such as:

What can you do to make sure you're keeping yourself and the instructor safe?

If you are taking or looking for driving lessons in Redditch, why not choose SmartLearner? We offer intensive driving courses in both manual and automatic with local driving instructors in Redditch and across the West Midlands and Warwickshire. Our intensive driving courses range from 5 hours to 30 hours and are suited around your availability and learning preferences.
If you want to find out more about how you can start your intensive driving course with SmartLearner give us a call on 0800 118 2001 or email us at
In 2021, SmartLearner were voted ‘Regional Driving School of the Year’ at the Intelligent Instructor Awards because of our superb service! If you have been driving for over 3 years and are over 21 why not take up driving instructor training? An average full-time instructor earns upwards of 30K per annum.
At SmartLearner we understand that to be the best driving school in Redditch we need the best instructors. This is why our driving instructors are in-house trained with our ORDIT approved driving instructor training courses. Our ADI training courses are affordable, flexible and have a guaranteed franchise opportunity upon completion.

Why intensive driving course has a good success rate?

Now, people are more inclined towards the Intensive driving course because they can get various benefits from short-term courses. Even, many driving schools offer amazing discounts on intensive or crash courses. People who do intensive driving courses have higher chances of passing qualifying driving exams as compare to individuals who do regular or traditional courses because of various reasons:

  • Retain information better

This is the main reason why these intensive courses are getting high success. In short-courses, you have less time in between the different driving sessions, which helps you in retaining all driving basics better. In regular courses, in some cases, students forget the previous lessons because of the long gaps.

Intensive driving course

  • More options

In the intensive courses, you will get more varieties; you can choose short hours-based driving lessons, including 5 and 10-hours course durations in both manual and automatic transmissions. In case of more available options, you are freer to choose your suitable course, which can adjust to your busy schedule. All these things make people more confident about passing the driving tests.

  • Less tiring

In short-term driving lessons, you don’t get tired easily. Here, you can learn to drive without exhausting yourself. When you first start learning, driving will be more exhausting for you. This is the main reason that even beginners choose intensive driving courses to avoid fatigue issues.

SmartLearner driving school professionals can help you in learning all types of intensive driving lessons. You can search for “Driving school near me” and you will get numerous certified and renowned driving schools in your region.

Driving on New Years Eve – SmartLearner

As 2020 comes to an end and 2021 approaches, many of us enjoy a drink to welcome in the New Year. Although this New Year will be a different one, celebrating with those who live in the same household can still go ahead.

New Year
How to stay safe welcoming in the New Year

Firstly, if you are going to be around alcohol, at your chosen support bubbles household, assign a designated driver. This ensures that you have a way of getting home safely. If a designated driver cannot be agreed arrange to stay over and travel home the next day, when you are sober.

Use public transport

If you cannot stay over at your support bubbles household and a designated driver cannot be arranged, use public transport. In order to stay safe when using public transport, order a taxi with a friend or family member, you can split the cost which will work out cheaper.

Watch out for changing weather conditions like snow

In many parts of the country, weather conditions are currently becoming colder and undependable, with snow and ice beginning to appear. These conditions mixed with drink driving can be a serious risk to life. Not only are weather conditions changing, but daylight hours are also decreasing, from as early as 4:30 pm.

New Year is the holiday with the most drinking involved, we hope everyone drinks responsibly and stays safe.

Why not make your New Year’s resolution learning to drive and start with one of our instructors!

Let’s hope 2021 is a better one for us all, Happy New Year from the SmartLearner Team!

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Call us on 0800 118 2001.

The rise of the automatic transmission driving lessons?

In recent times, more people are showing interest in learning Automatic Driving Lessons and the main reason behind this is the ongoing trend of automatic cars. Now, all big companies are launching upgraded automatic vehicles which make the driving very easy. In automatic transmissions, beginners can also understand the basics of driving in a quick time.

Another reason for the rising popularity of automatic Driving lessons is safety, when a trainee drives an automatic car, it allows him to focus more on the road ahead because of no worry of manually shifting gears. Because of this, new drivers prefer to learn automatic driving as compare to manual driving lessons.

Automatic Driving Lessons

Remember that, if you learn to drive in an automatic car, you will only be allowed to drive automatic vehicles as an automatic license only covers automatic cars whereas a manual car’s license allows you to drive both manual and automatic transmissions.

Before you start driving lessons, you should do research for the experienced and certified driving schools or instructors, or search as “Driving lessons near me and you will find numerous options near you. Also, you can take assistance from DVSA-approved SmartLearner driving school’s instructors, who are experienced and can also help you in choosing more suitable driving lessons for you.

What beginners prefer to learn automatic driving lessons?

Automatic driving lessons are easy to learn and most beginners prefer to learn driving with automatic transmissions. Nowadays, new innovative automatic cars are coming which makes the driving effortless. In recent times, people are also choosing automatic driving lessons because of the following reasons:

  • Good for beginners

Now, beginners are more interested in learning automatic driving as in this case, they don’t have to worry about changing the gears manually and also in traffics, they can drive smoothly. The other benefit is that it is less stressful to learn to drive an automatic transmission.

Learn automatic driving lessons

  • Safe to drive

The first-time drivers find automatic vehicles very safe as compare to manual transmissions.  If you don’t know any basics of driving then you can get confused in a manual car, but in automatic cars, you just need to focus on your driving skills as gears will be automatically shifted. The chances of accidents are less in automatic cars which makes them a safe choice for beginners.

  • require less time to learn

When you drive automatic transmissions, you can learn the driving quickly but in the case of manual driving, you have to be an expert in gear-shifting according to the speed which takes time to learn. In automatic cars, you are more relaxed about changing gears which helps you to learn automatic driving lessons in a quick time.

The all above points are the reasons that automatic driving lessons are popular among beginners. If you want to learn automatic driving, then you should find a certified Driving Instructor near you.

Search “Automatic driving lessons near me and you will find lots of options in your region.

How to prepare yourself for a driving school?

When you start to think about learning driving lessons, then you also need lots of motivation to make your mind prepare for learning driving. In the beginning, your journey of driving can be more stressful and confusing, hence it is important that you do these various things which are mentioned below, to prepare yourself for the driving:

Driving instructors

  • Research about topics that you will cover in a school

Read about all your state traffic laws and research on various topics which you will learn in your chosen driving school. By this, you will get confidence and will also understand some driving rules which will help you in learning driving more efficiently.

First, you should find the top driving schools in your region and do research to get the most suitable school to learn. For example; if you are a resident of “Leamington Spa”, then search “Driving lessons Leamington spa” and you will get numerous options for driving schools in that particular town.

If you want to do online courses, then be sure to look at comments and reviews from former students to get all information about that school.

  • Book your driving lessons ahead of time

It is better to book your in-car driving lessons in well-advanced so that you can manage your busy schedule. You should make sure to look at the accreditations of your driving school before choosing. Also, confirm the acceptance of that driving school in your state.

Driving instructors

  • Set up a driving agreement

Before you start your driving lessons, you should make an agreement with your driving school which includes the timings, rules on electronics in the car, where are you allowed to go while learning, and many more things. This agreement is very important if your teen goes driving.

For safety purposes, you should choose certified and experienced driving instructors such as “Driving instructors Leamington spa”.

Winter driving visibility – SmartLearner Driving School

When driving in bad weather conditions it is important to be visible to other road users. Winter driving can be dangerous if windows and windscreens are not clear. 


Dirty windscreen

Make sure you can see:

Making sure your windows, especially windscreens are clear and you are able to see out of them before starting a journey is very important. They need to be cleared of any ice, water, and condensation.

  • Keep the windscreen and surrounding windows clear of dirt and snow to avoid a fine.
  • Clear snow from the roof – it can fall onto the windscreen and block your view mid-drive, you may not be able to pull over safely to clear this straightaway.
  • Air-con demists the screen faster and reduces condensation.
  • Replace worn or damaged wiper blades. If there is wear to the blades, they will not clear smudges correctly and may leave streaks across your windows.
  • Do not leave your wipers on auto when you park up if there is a risk of frost. If the blades freeze to the screen, you could damage the blades or wiper motor when you turn the ignition on. The blades risk being pulled from the wiper.
  • Use a suitable additive in your screen wash to reduce the chance of it freezing.

Make sure others can see you:

With daylight hours reduced and more chance of rain, sleet, and snow, there can often be poor visibility when driving in winter.

  • Make sure all car lights are working and the lenses are clean. Other drivers will need to see your headlights to be aware of your presence.
  • If the roads are covered with mud or sleet, you might have to clean your lights after every trip.
  • Keep number plates clean, to avoid fines. If number plates are not visible you can be faced with a fine of up to £1000.
  • If you have to clear snow, don’t forget the lights – front and back.
  • You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. If you use fog lights, remember to switch them off when visibility improves so they do not dazzle other drivers or obscure your brake lights.

If you are interested in starting your driving lessons, call us on 0800 118 2001 or visit our driving lessons page HERE.

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Winter driving advice – SmartLearner Driving School

Different weather conditions can cause danger to road users, these include heavy rain, fog, snow, or ice. Drive SLOW, stopping distances can increase when these conditions are present. Other road users will be adapting their speed and driving, so there is no need for you to rush. 

snow queue

Before beginning your journey:

  • Allow extra time for your journeys, if you see that there is fog outside, wait until it begins to clear to ensure a safer journey.
  • Plan routes around major roads, which are more likely to be cleared and gritted. Side roads and residential streets are less likely to be clear of hazards.
  • Try to get up at least 10 minutes early to give you time to de-ice the car. Do not rush and attempt to pull window wipers free if they are frozen, you are at risk of damaging them.
  • Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer and wait until the windscreen’s fully demisted before driving.
  • Wear comfortable, dry shoes for driving so your feet do not slip on the pedals. for example, trainers with sturdy soles.
  • Check fuel levels – if driving in snow, there is a chance you may become stuck. Delays may also occur due to build-up of traffic, you may then need to find a different route that will use more fuel.  
  • If you drive an automatic, check the handbook – some have a winter mode or recommend selecting ‘2’ in slippery conditions.

If roads are icy or are coated in snow:

  • Begin driving by pulling off in second gear, easing your foot off of the clutch carefully to avoid wheel-spin.
  • If you have to use your brakes apply them gently and within good time. Do not break harshly.
  • Driving uphill – leave plenty of room between other cars or wait until it’s clear so you don’t have to stop part bway up. Keep a constant speed and try to avoid having to change gear on the hill.
  • Driving downhill – slow down before the hill, use a low gear, and try to avoid braking. Leave as much room as you can after the car in front.

If you become stuck in snow or ice:

  • If you get stuck, straighten the steering wheel and clear the snow from the wheels to enable movement.
  • Put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels, the material will give the tyres some grip to roll over.

If you are interested in starting your driving lessons, call us on 0800 118 2001 or visit our driving lessons page HERE.

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How doing a driving instructor course is a good option to become an ADI?

It is recommended that you do a Driving instructor course which can prepare you well for the ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) tests. In driving instructor classes, you can learn the all rules and regulations of driving assigned by the official body.

To be a good driving instructor, you must have or develop a wide range of skills. If you have an ability to teach and also have traits like patience, sharp reflexes, and adaptability then you can make a good career as a driving instructor.

Initially, you have to do investments in your training part. If you choose the right course such as “SmartLearner Driving School ADI Training” then it is sure that you would be successful in qualifying for the ADI exams. It is highly recommended that you do training with the help of a registered trainer. You can use the government website to track the registered driving instructors in your area.

Driving instructor course

Becoming a driving instructor by taking these driving instructor tests as mentioned below:

  • Part one: Theory and hazard perception

In this part, you will get multiple-choice questions that cover a wide range of subject knowledge, including teaching techniques, dealing with disabilities, mechanical principles, and the rules & regulations for driving on UK roads.

Once you have completed the MCQ part of the test, you will take the hazard perception test. This test consists of 14 video clips, each has a duration around of one minute. In this test, you will have to identify the hazard in a video of various traffic situations involving other road users.

  • Part two: The driving ability

This is a practical exam in which you will get about one hour to prove your driving skills. To start, you will have to read a standard number plate from a distance of 27.5 meters and if you fail to do so, your test will not go further.

You will be asked several questions on vehicle safety. You must satisfy your examiner in the following cases:

  1. Good judgment of speed, distance, and timing
  2. Expert handling of the controls
  3. Think about the convenience and safety of other road users
  4. Driving in a correct road procedure
  5. Predictions of the actions of other drivers and taking the appropriate actions

Driving instructor course

  • Part three: Instructional ability

As the name suggests, this exam is all about your instructional ability. In this test, a senior DVSA examiner will take you through the test and will also mark you. There are two parts included:

  1. You have to teach a learner
  2. You have to make an assessment and give remedial driving instructions to a learner or a qualified driver who is doing the driver development training

The DVSA examiner will check your following capabilities:

  • Instructor characteristics
  • Core competencies
  • Instructional techniques

You can get a trainee license after passing parts 1 and 2 of the test and doing at least 40 hours of training with a qualified ADI. After that, you can apply for a license that will allow you to instruct students over a six-month period.

Driving instructor training by the SmartLearner driving school’s professionals can help you in passing all parts of the ADI test. You can also consult professional driving instructors for getting assistance in qualifying for the driving exams.