Police mobile speed cameras are in operation this evening on Liverpool Road in an attempt to catch speedsters eager to beat the traffic and get home after work.The notorious rat run is a popular thoroughfare and often drivers will exceed the 30mph speed limits.
Mobile units are usually located in vans that are marked as a safety camera vehicle with a bright livery, and they feature opening windows or panels to point the cameras through. You will usually find them parked at the side of the road, in laybys (although not where parking restrictions apply) and also on bridges over roads.
The kind of cameras these mobile units use include mini Gatso cameras that use radar technology but there are also handheld radar or laser gun cameras. A laser gun uses a narrow laser beam that is reflected off a vehicle to measure its speed. These devices are quick and effective, being able to register a vehicle’s speed in as little as half a second and up to a distance of a mile away.
A radar gun works similarly to a laser gun. It has a wider beam and only works up to around 300 yards, while it will only come back with a reading after around 3 seconds, but it’s still an accurate way of registering a car’s speed.
Mobile camera vans can be set up in any direction to catch speeders, and can just as easily be set up to catch speeders approaching the camera site as going away from the site. As with fixed camera locations, a mobile camera site must have road signs indicating its presence, but apart from that, mobile cameras can be set up at any time. In terms of location, mobile units are usually found in places notorious for accidents or speeding in the past, and are not normally pitched up in random places. Some local speed camera operators have been known to issue information on radio and social media to inform road users of where mobile camera units are operating on particular days.