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VECTOR average speed cameras explained

Vector Average Speed CameraLaunched in 2014 VECTOR average speed cameras come from the same company as SPECS average speed cameras. These speed cameras work in the same way as SPECS speed cameras by measuring the average speed of your vehicle between two or more locations by using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). Not only can the VECTOR catch speeding motorists but also they can do the following:

‣Bus lane enforcement
‣Level crossings
‣Red light enforcement
‣Yellow box violations
‣Access control
‣Congestion charging
‣Parking management

Did you know? Vectors cameras that are NOT yellow are normal ANPR cameras. Only the yellow ones are used for speed enforcement.

The rise in popularity of VECTOR and SPECS average speed cameras has come as the cost of installing them has dropped. According to Richard Owen, from Road Safety Analysis the cost of installing a SPECS average speed check zone in the early 2000s was £1.5m per mile, the cost in 2016 was typically about £100,000 per mile.

How do VECTOR speed cameras work?

Lone VECTOR speed camera keeps watchVECTOR speed camera systems commonly enforce speed limits on dual carriageways and road with bidirectional travel. The VECTOR system are located at the side of the road or at central reservations. Cameras are then located at regular intervals to operate a managed speed control zone.

Each VECTOR speed camera records a date and time stamp. Then, by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), the computer can then work out your average speed between the cameras with photographic evidence that you were speeding between the VECTOR cameras. VECTOR speed cameras also record your number plate and issue you a speeding ticket if you were speeding along the average speed controlled stretch of road.

It cannot be detected by radar and laser speed camera detectors - you will need a GPS speed camera detector.

Points and Penalties

The absolute minimum penalty for being caught speeding on the UK's roads increased 66.7% in July 2013 from £60 to £100 fine. A minimum of 3 penalty points will also be added to your licence.

However, depending on the road speed limit and your actual recorded speed in the speeding offence a court summons may be generated in place of the Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) through the post with the code SP10, SP20, SP30, SP40 or SP50. For more information click here.


No film

Unlike other speed cameras VECTOR speed cameras don't use film so there is no limit to the number of incriminating motorists it can help to prosecute. Your number plate, date and time stamp are stored by each VECTORS camera and then if your average speed between the cameras is above the speed limit you will automatically be issued a speeding fine.

VECTOR speed camera Cornwall

Pictured above: VECTOR speed camera location sited on the A394, Trewennack in Cornwall. Two VECTOR cameras are mounted at either end of the village to help enforce a 30mph speed limit throughout the village.

VECTOR speed camera installations

30mph average speed camera zone controlled by VECTOR speed camerasThe VECTOR speed camera can be installed on traffic signals, street lighting columns, gantries and bridges.

The VECTOR speed camera includes two cameras housed within one unit. The camera can monitor two lanes of traffic either bi-directional or a dual-carriageway (same direction of travel). The camera unit also has a sun visor to help operate in all conditions.

Images captured by the VECTOR speed camera can be transmitted by communications media or stored in the local high capacity memory. The VECTOR cameras will record vehicle registration number, read confidence, time, date and camera location. Features of the speed camera also include GPS clock, compass, accelerometer and two light sensors. The VECTOR will work in all weather and lighting conditions (day and night) and can catch speeding vehicles up to the maximum speed of today's fastest cars.

A number of local authorities are now adopting average speed cameras in favour of the traditional fixed point speed check cameras. For example Lincolnshire have replaced their fixed Gatso cameras on the A15 (just south of Lincoln) with a three camera VECTOR average speed check.

The map below depicts the UK's five longest average speed check routes in 2016 - these routes includes both VECTOR and SPECS average speed cameras.

Map depicts the UK's five longest average speed check routes in 2016

VECTOR Questions and Answers

Read below questions and answers relating to VECTOR average speed cameras. To ask your own question please use our online form. If you'd like to read more general questions and answers relating to average speed cameras read them online here.

Question: In Peterborough on a short stretch of the B1091 approaching Farcet there are 3 average speed cameras over a half mile stretch as measured on my trip meter. This is much shorter than the 1 mile mentioned for the Tower Bridge system. Is there a legal limit to the distance between cameras?

Answer: There is no set maximum or minimum distance that average speed cameras with be able operate over. Sometimes motorway based average speed cameras can be very close to each to cover exit and entrance slip ways onto the motorway. In addition, the nearby Forty Foot Bank road average SPECS speed cameras are very close to each other too.

Question: Whilst travelling on a stretch of road covered by three vector camera's I looked at my dash to see I had been about 3/5 miles over the speed limit, correcting my mistake immediately I dropped to 10mph below the limit as I was heading to the last camera, the limit was 50mph. Will I have been caught?

Answer: It will all depend upon and come down to which cameras are paired.

If the first and third VECTOR cameras are paired then correcting your speed would help ensure your average speed was within the road speed limit and speed camera speed limit threshold. If the first and second cameras are paired, then you may have been caught?

It’s a case of waiting and seeing… If you have been caught speeding, a NIP (Notice of Intended Prosecution) is normally sent out to the vehicles registered keeper within 14 working days.

Question: The speed cameras on the A282 Dartford M25 (southbound) have been changed to VECTOR forward facing cameras from the rear facing ones they used to have. A question. Does this now mean that they cannot catch speeding motorcyclists?

Answer: Yes, if they are forward facing VECTOR speed cameras and the motorcycle has no markings on the front to provide the police with an identity.

However, think carefully as many motorways are littered with CCTV cameras, the police may use a nearby CCTV to help provide the information they require e.g. a rear number to issue the NIP.

In addition, many VECTOR average speed cameras, such as the one pictured below is rear facing.

Single direction VECTOR speed cameraQuestion: I've gone past a vector camera yesterday, do you have to go past more than one to get caught?

Answer: Yes, VECTOR speed cameras work in pairs.

Question: Do vector average speed enforcement cameras only photograph the number plate or do they also photograph the driver?

Answer: Vector average speed cameras, like the SPECS average speed cameras are forward facing cameras so that they can photograph the driver along with the car registration number.

Question: As average speed cameras don't flash, do they work in the dark?

Answer: Yes, SPECS and VECTOR average speed camera use infra-red so they can operate 24/7.

Speed camera alerts as you drive

What's your view and experiences with VECTOR speed cameras? Tell us here.

Did you know you can be alerted to where VECTOR and other speed cameras are along UK roads via in car devices? These systems include dedicated speed camera detectors, sat navs with speed camera locations and various apps for smartphones. To read more view our buyers guide which talks you through the various features and different technology the different systems use. We also have dedicated reviews for each product with user comments.

We also sell a range of speed camera detectors which you can browse via our online shop. We only stock systems that we consider will give you the best, most accurate, reliable and frequently updated speed camera databases. So whether you are a motorist, truck driver or caravanist you can rest assured you have the best speed camera warning system.

Click here to visit our online detector shop.

Last updated: 17th October 2018