Speed Camera Detector Buying Guide

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What does a speed camera detector do?

Safety camera detectors, otherwise known as speed camera detectors, are intended to warn the user of a potential speed camera which they may be approaching. This includes fixed Gatso speed cameras, SPECS speed cameras and even mobile safety camera vans.

Advanced speed camera detectors can also give you the speed limit of the road that the camera is on to make you aware if you are exceeding the speed limit whilst travelling through this alert. They should be regarded as a driving aid and should never be 100% relied on. The user must still use their driving skills in the first instance.

How does a speed camera detector work?

Speed camera detectors rely on several factors coming together to provide an accurate picture of nearby speed cameras.


For example, speed camera detectors work utilises a database that contains fixed GPS positions of alerts such as the Gatso cameras, SPECS cameras and the road speed library. This contains the most up to date information of the speed limits on all roads in the UK.


Using GPS modules inside of the devices, speed camera detectors can understand your heading and direction, alerting you to these as you cross paths with them.

Dedicated database support

Good speed camera detectors have a team dedicated to providing users with the most relevant and up to date information. This could involve having a dedicated team to scout new locations or changes.

The way these changes then get implemented onto the device is interesting too. Top of the class products like the Road Angel Pure and Pure Touch have inbuilt SIM cards to provide the user with the most up to date information in real time without the need to manually do this through a computer, unlike most of the speed camera detectors on the market.

Are speed camera detectors legal in the UK?

Speed camera detectors are completely legal in the UK as most of the information can be found publicly. A speed camera detector merely brings this information together, through technology, in a compact sized device, which can sit on your dash or windscreen normally. They are however illegal in a lot of other countries. Therefore, if you are a Brit, thinking of taking your device with you on your next holiday, please do the relevant research into the laws of your destination!

Something which is illegal in the UK, however, and in a lot of other countries is Radar blocking. This is a form of deception as it intentionally sends out radio frequency signals to interfere with the radar’s operation. This is done by saturating the receiver with noise or fake information.

What is the difference between GPS, radar and laser detectors?

GPS technology in speed camera detectors allows for a few things, a few of which have been touched on above. For example, GPS in the device can be used to understand where the user is in the UK, work out their current heading and direction to shortlist potential alerts you may be heading towards to ensure the right alert is pinged at the right time.

Radar detection is what most Speed Cameras use through several different bands, in the UK and Europe. Some speed camera detectors can be used across this range of wavelength bands.

Lasers can be used instead of radar to pulsate light towards the driver. Typically, you see this on handheld laser gun devices used by mobile safety camera vans or even a police officer on the side of the road!