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.

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