Tripping Speed Cameras

by VecchioJo   March 27, 2009  

Anyone ever managed to do this?

There's a speed camera halfway down a hill into town, if you start a determined sprint at the top and you've got a bit of a following wind you can easily hit 40mph as you pass the 30mph speed-limit sign and the rapidly following sneaky camera. I've clocked well over the speed limit countless times but never got the camera to flash, I think I might have succeeded once but the car that I was undertaking at the time (hey, I was on the cycle-lane at the time so all legal and above board) may have triggered it.

Is it possible for a cyclist to trip a speed-camera, or are we just too small to register and I should invest in a silver-foil skinsuit?

16 user comments

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We have a few of those LED signs that flash up "Slow Down 30mph" (or whatever the speed limit is) if you are exceeding that speed, in our area that I have triggered a few times. So assuming they are using the same speed detection technology it should be possible to set a Gatso speed camera off.

I think the main problem is that only a small proportion of the Gatso cameras are actually live at any one time, they move the camera apparatus that is contained within the box to other locations as and when they see fit.

You may have been going fast enough to trigger it, but without the camera being live you would never know it.

Aim for the speed warning signs, they are always active and much more of a guarantee of fun.

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [648 posts]
27th March 2009 - 10:16

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Yeah, there's one of those illuminated 30mph signs on the big hill on the way in to work - I can usually get that to flash… never managed it on way back up though Smile

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4130 posts]
27th March 2009 - 10:24

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Speed cameras can measure speed in two ways. most of them use a doppler shift radar that calculates your speed by the change in frequency of the waves. Cars reflect a lot of radar, being big and made of metal and glass. bike riders, being small and made mostly of clothes, will reflect much less, i doubt you'd get a reading although i have heard stories of police at mobile speed traps calling out speed readings to passing cyclists Smile

The other system uses piezo electric strips under the white lines on the road. again, the difference in weight between a bike and a car would suggest that you're not going to set that off either...

purplecup's picture

posted by purplecup [232 posts]
27th March 2009 - 10:30

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Like the earlier two posters(ees) I've tripped the LED speed signs - again, downhill only. I wonder if the camera ones have a higher threshold than the LED ones.

posted by smilzo [71 posts]
27th March 2009 - 20:48

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Yes I think they do have a higher threshold plus as Purplecup says they work in a different way so are inherently harder to set off if you are on a bike - that said, they catch motorcyclists who's radar shadow can't be that much bigger than a cyclists.

One thing I have noticed with the Slow Down! signs is that they seem to be very sensitive some times you can get them to flicker slightly when you don't seem to be going that fast, and I've certainly noticed that I've had them flash at me in the car when the speedo has been reading much closer to 25mph. Dunno about you I always try not to set them off when I am in the car and always set them off when I am on the bike.

On a bike somewhere…

thebikeboy's picture

posted by thebikeboy [138 posts]
27th March 2009 - 23:14

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Don't be such an arse.
I know you think it's big and clever to trip the speed-camera and no small ego-trip, but in doing so (and I may be stating the bleeding obvious here), you're breaking the law, a law that as a cyclist and legitimate road user you're required to follow.
Trying to trip a speed-camera makes you no better than those motorists that speed, you know, the ones you hate, or those cyclists that run red lights, you know, the ones you hate.

Stick to the law, stop being a twat, and at the risk of sounding like your Dad, stop putting yourself and others in danger.

posted by LesBianchi [16 posts]
28th March 2009 - 16:14

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Blimey!
You do sound like my dad, he's called Les too, but he's not as polite as you Surprise

hammergonewest's picture

posted by hammergonewest [105 posts]
28th March 2009 - 18:55

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Whereas I'd say you sound like my mum

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [152 posts]
28th March 2009 - 19:23

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I'm fairly sure that in the U.K., speed limits apply to motorised vehicles only (in as much as exceeding them constitutes an offence in and of itself).

(Which isn't to say that it's right to exceed a posted limit on a bicycle, just that it isn't against the law as such, if I've remembered same correctly).

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [417 posts]
28th March 2009 - 22:43

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Ah yes, our old friend 'Furious riding' If Les rides like he posts he might want to be careful of that one Wink

On a bike somewhere…

thebikeboy's picture

posted by thebikeboy [138 posts]
28th March 2009 - 22:48

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LesBianchi - you seem to be a very angry person, I would normally suggest you get out for a bike ride and relax, but it sounds like that would only add to your stress levels!

Luckily my Dad is a pretty easy going bloke, so you are at no risk of sounding like him...

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [648 posts]
29th March 2009 - 8:32

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Agreed, the UK law does only apply to motorised vehicles, attempting to trip a speed camera may be daft and unsafe but it isnt 'illegal'. Ive been stopped a couple of times by police saying Im going too quickly (below the speed limit).

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1080 posts]
29th March 2009 - 10:28

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The best things ive found are the displays that tell you what speed you're going and then give you a smile or sad face depending if you are breaking the law.

Passed one going 32. A car decided it would still be a good idea to overtake me, into a blind corner, and then stop to turn right. Idiot.

posted by miffed [163 posts]
29th March 2009 - 20:27

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Okay so it's not technically illegal to exceed the stated speed limit on a given stretch of road. but the reasons the speed limit is in place are just as applicable to you on a bike as they are to you in car. more so, in fact, because by exerting yourself to try and go fast you're making yourself less aware of road conditions, as well as giving yourself less time to react.

Barry Fry-up's picture

posted by Barry Fry-up [187 posts]
29th March 2009 - 21:32

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Quote:
in fact, because by exerting yourself to try and go fast you're making yourself less aware of road conditions, as well as giving yourself less time to react.

You don't have to particularly exert yoursellf if you're going down hill, quite the opposite

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [152 posts]
29th March 2009 - 22:24

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True but in my experience pedestrians are so much less aware of bicycles than cars it is terrifying sometimes. Riding into Bristol down Gloucester road (A-road, busy, wise) doing 35mph-ish)with a car slightly ahead of me. The pedestrian lets the car pass and dawdles accross the road in front of me and other cyclists...this is ebcause they dont look, dont want to see or cant equate cycling with speed. Either way it caused a bunch of us to lock up, suggest they look in the future and then for us to recieve a tirade of abuse from her tracksuit wearing boyfriend!

Its not technically illegal to exceed the speed limit, its safe for a cyclist on their own but not when a pedestrian is involved because we probably do take longer to stop.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1080 posts]
30th March 2009 - 9:59

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