We have a received a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for the following:
“Could you please confirm the accuracy of speed enforcement cameras which are Home Office Approved. I have checked the relevant Home Office, ACPO and Police websites but cannot find any documentation which states that speed cameras which are approved by the Home Office are 100% accurate.
I have received advice that speedometers are inaccurate. Car Manufacturers do not guarantee that their speedometers are accurate. In fact, in many cases Speedos have a wide margin of error in recording actual miles travelled per hour.
I have also been advised that Safety Cameras have a recognized margin of error in recording the actual miles per hour travelled by vehicles being monitored by speed cameras. I am interested in finding out the accuracy of Truvello Combi Speed Cameras. I note they have a red filter fitted for night time use.
Having checked the Police Procedure Manual I note that Speed Cameras have to be calibrated annually and that the Police Force should maintain calibration records and service records.
I would therefore appreciate a copy of the document which confirms that Home Office Approved Safety Cameras are 100% accurate, or alternatively, what the margin of accuracy for these cameras is.
I have checked your Freedom of Information Publication List and the exemptions applied in respect of technical data for speed cameras. This request does not impinge on the exemptions because accuracy of equipment is not a trade secret. Indeed, such information must be provided to Courts if the accuracy of any particular camera is questioned.
Manufacturers of motor vehicles do not hide the specifications of the vehicles they manufacture. It is acknowledge that speedometers are not accurate. It is not a Statutory requirement of the MOT test for speedometers to be checked at the time an MOT is carried out. In view of this fact it would be most appreciated if you could provide a copy of the document showing the margins of Safety Cameras accuracy.
I would like to ascertain how accurate Home Office Approved Safety Cameras are and why they need to be calibrated every year and regularly serviced if they are deemed by the Police to be 100% accurate at all times.
It is strange to note that Manufacturers of Speed Cameras allegedly supply cameras which are 100% accurate, when those cameras are in use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whilst Manufacturers of speedometers do not guarantee the accuracy of their speedometers when those Speedometers are only in use when the vehicle is being driven.”
We released the following information on 21 May 2007.