Radar Man Answers Everything You Need to Know About the Law (2023)

Most people think they know a lot about speed cameras and mobile vans that show up at the side of the road or over flyovers, but how much of what you think you know is true?

You probably think you can get away with it as long as you don't go over 10% of the limit, or that you'll just get caught driving one way.

However, Gareth Thomas, a speed reduction officer for seven years, left the companyNorth Wales livein your van to answer all the important questions and dispel some myths.

Gareth is a Go Safe Accident Reduction Officer and a former police officer. He said: "The aim of the cameras is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

"Go Safe educates drivers rather than punishing them with fines and penalty points."

So what do you think we need to know?

Gareth answered questions about mobile vans and speeding.

Is it true that express vans must be visible at all times?

No. There are no visibility laws, so nothing prevents a police officer from operating in the dark.

But they don't usually choose to do so, claiming that being visible is in itself a deterrent.

Gareth said: "Legally we don't have to be visible. I could interfere if I wanted to, but it's about being fair and polite and avoiding an accident."

"Even if I parked my truck and went for a walk somewhere, it would immediately discourage people from speeding."

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Can the police only catch drivers going in one direction?

No. Every car that drives past a Go-Safe van is recorded by the officer's camera.

So if you exceed the speed limit, whether you're going in the same direction as the van or in the opposite direction, you'll get a ticket.

Is it true that there is a 10 percent rule?

Yes, you won't get a ticket unless your speed exceeds the limit by more than 10%, says Gareth.

For example, driving 35 mph or more in a 30 mph zone is registered as speeding.

However, according to Go Safe, the limits vary and are subject to change without notice.

Officially, every speed violation occurs 1 mph over the limit, but most forces allow a deviation.

Are government officials tax collectors?

Radar Man Answers Everything You Need to Know About the Law (2)

No. Gareth explained: "We're not here to get numbers or make money. We're just here to catch people speeding."


“If I have a day where there aren't any riders who are too fast, I know I've done my job.

"If I'm working an eight-hour shift, I just hope that at least one person doesn't get hurt that day or that an accident is avoided."

Can I be caught speeding more than once by the same camera on the same day?

The current position on Go Safe is that if you are caught twice within 20 minutes it will be treated as an offense.

Theoretically, a driver with a pre-authorized license could be caught multiple times in the same day and as a result risk disqualification under the totalization system.

If you are caught speeding multiple times on the same trip and accept a flat penalty for each, you risk disqualification for penalty points (totalization).

Gareth says this can happen more easily than you might think, for example when there are multiple speed cameras on the same street or highway.

However, if the offenses are presumed to have been committed "on the same occasion", the court can only award a series of points for two or more offences.

Whether the offenses are deemed to have been committed simultaneously is a matter for the court. They don't have to be committed at the same time, but they must be linked in some way.

So if the offenses were committed within a few minutes, for example, it may be possible to persuade the court to only impose a point sentence. Each case depends on its facts.

Is it illegal to block the view of vans on the road?

Radar Man Answers Everything You Need to Know About the Law (3)

Yes, obstructing the view of a truck while it is operating is a criminal offense and subject to criminal prosecution.

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Do the police enforce anything other than speeding?

Yes, the police are there to make sure you wear your seat belt and don't use your cell phone while driving. Anyone violating these laws will be prosecuted.

Because of this, you'll sometimes see a fast GoSafe van in an area that already has permanent speed traps in place.

Is it forbidden to eat while driving?

Radar Man Answers Everything You Need to Know About the Law (4)

No it is not. However, if you become distracted while driving while eating, the police can prosecute you for negligent driving.

Gareth said: "It's to be welcomed. I once saw a lady and she looked in the mirror and put on lipstick.

“I went cat-eye in the middle of the road and took a sharp swerve. I have recommended that she be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention."

Is it illegal to turn on headlights to warn drivers of a fast delivery truck?

When drivers blink to warn others of a fast delivery truck, they may be breaking the law.

Section 89 of the Police Act 1997 makes it an offense to "willfully prevent a police officer from doing his or her duty".

However, Gareth says that while it's a crime, it's very difficult to prove.

He said: "I don't mind if people blink to tell them about the speeding van.

How long do fast vans usually stay in one place?

Radar Man Answers Everything You Need to Know About the Law (5)

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Due to technical reasons, a fast transporter only stays in a certain place for 90 minutes.

During his shift, which averages eight hours, he usually visits three different points in the region that he is supposed to visit.

Who decides where to park GoSafe Express vans?

Enforcement typically occurs in specific areas for a number of reasons, including:

  • Death or serious injuries occurred at the scene.
  • Velocities in the area were recorded as being significantly high.
  • Local residents expressed concerns about the speeding and these concerns were corroborated by a traffic speed survey.
  • Go Safe supports a police raid campaign

What happens if I'm caught speeding?

Radar Man Answers Everything You Need to Know About the Law (6)

It all depends on the circumstances in which you were caught speeding and how far you went over the limit.

The minimum penalty for being caught speeding on UK roads is a £100 fine.

But Gareth explained that in certain circumstances the police may offer the opportunity to take a speeding awareness course, an alternative to fines and penalty points.

Gareth said: “An accredited course is much more likely to improve driving skills and therefore make our girls safer.

"There are courses in place for drivers to respond quickly to 'warnings' and drive no more than 10 per cent plus 9mph over the posted speed limit."

For example, if you are driving on a motorway at more than 140 km/h, you will not get the awareness course.

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Those who do not have a clean license at the time of work or have already attended the course in the last three years are rarely offered the awareness course as an option.


Do radar detectors detect all cops? ›

A. Radar detectors can detect radar but not police vehicles. There's a good chance the police car wasn't radar-equipped (90 percent carry no radar). Or if it was, most officers shut off the radar while they're out of the car on a traffic stop or when using it in instant-on mode.

Do radar guns work at an angle? ›

Microwave and laser radars cannot measure traffic speed on a curve because the angle is changing causing the relative speed to change too fast for the radar or lidar to measure.

Can police radar clock two cars at once? ›

The radar cannot. After getting a valid speed reading that is over the limit, the Officer visually looks at the two cars, or group of cars and it is easy to see which car is pulling ahead of the others or catching up to the others, THAT would be the car whose speed was measured.

How do police officers use the Doppler effect to watch for speeders? ›

RADAR speed detectors bounce microwave radiation off of moving vehicles and detect the reflected waves. These waves are shifted in frequency by the Doppler effect, and the beat frequency between the directed and reflected waves provides a measure of the vehicle speed.

How do cops beat radar detectors? ›

With laser, the officer can specifically target your vehicle in much the same way a sniper with a scope does. Since police laser is a highly focused beam of infrared light which barely encompasses the front of your vehicle even at a far distance, it makes advanced detection by other detector owners very difficult.

Why do people not use radar detectors anymore? ›

Modern radar detectors are expensive — and they're being beaten at their own game by much cheaper solutions. The best example of this, of course, is Waze — a mobile app that lets users report police presence (and other potential road dangers) so you know when to slow down in order to avoid a ticket.


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