I’m a speed camera officer… here are three myths that drivers always get wrong on the road | The Sun

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A SPEED camera officer has revealed three myths that always get wrong on the road.

Ex-cop Gareth Thomas says some motorists might think they have a clue about how they can get pinged by a cheeky camera – but often they have no idea.

There's a wide-ranging list of assumptions drivers have made about how road laws really work – here Gareth sheds light on three of the most common.

Camera operators DON’T have to be seen

Gareth says there are no laws about visibility when it comes to camera operators trying to snag a speedy driver.

No rules prevent an officer from nabbing a car exceeding the speed limit from the shadows.

He said: "Legally, we don't have to be visible.


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"I could camouflage myself if I wanted to, but it's all about being fair, education and preventing an accident."

Officers don't usually operate in the dark, as being noticeable can help deter speed freaks.

Cameras are just a way for making money for cops

Another popular myth is that safety cameras are an easy way of making money for the police.

But all fine revenue is passed to the Treasury – so forces and safety partners don't make a profit.

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Gareth added that operators are "just here to catch people who are speeding".

GoSafe place speed and red light cameras where people have been killed or injured, where excessive speeds have been recorded or at a community concern site.

It is NOT illegal to eat behind the wheel

It is against the law to eat behind the wheel, but if you get distracted – for example while trying to find that greasy chip which slipped from your grasp – cops can get you for careless driving.

Gareth once pushed for the prosecution of a driver veering across the road while looking at her face in the mirror and applying her lipstick.

He said that she had been "driving without due care and attention" as she was "riding on the cats' eyes in the centre of the road".

Of course, speed van officers can also sting you for failing to wear a seatbelt, or for using your mobile phones while driving.

What else?

These are the other myths drivers might believe – such as thinking you won't be fined unless you're travelling the same direction as the officer is facing.

It doesn't matter which way travelling, Gareth says: "If you're exceeding the speed limit – whether you're driving in the same or opposite direction to the van – you can expect a speeding ticket."

Flashing your lights to warn others about a speed van in the vicinity could be a breach of the law.

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However, Gareth said that despite it being an offence under the Police Act to "wilfully obstruct a constable in the execution of his/her duty", he isn't 'bothered' about motorists doing so.

He explained: "I just want to educate people and the van to act as a speed deterrent."

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