New study finds almost half of all speed cameras in England are inactive

It's all according to freedom of information requests (FOI) answered by 25 out of 44 UK police forces.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 19th December 2023

A shocking new research study has found that 46% of speed cameras in England may not even be operational.

This equates to almost half of all the speed cameras currently on England’s roads.

The research – which comes from dash camera manufacturer, Road Angel, and is all according to freedom of information requests (FOI) answered by 25 out of 44 UK police forces – found that, despite the fact most motorists will immediately adjust and lower their speed the second we see a bright yellow speed camera, we probably don’t need to do so as there’s nearly a 50% chance the camera’s not even working anyway.

When it comes to the areas of England where the least speed cameras are in operation, Northamptonshire has come out on top, as the research found that all eight fixed speed cameras in the region were inactive.

Derbyshire has more fixed speed cameras out of action than any other region (93), with only 20 of the 113 across the county capable of catching speeding motorists.


Along with Derbyshire, Essex (110), and Devon and Cornwall (110), are the regions with the highest number of fixed speed cameras – however, each region currently has at least 40% incapable of catching speeding drivers.

Staggeringly, only two police forces that responded to the FOI request had all speed cameras working.


At the other end of the spectrum, all speed cameras in Suffolk are operational, with the next best region being the West Midlands – which currently has only 5% of its speed cameras standing inactive, meaning that 62 out of 65 devices are currently operational.

“If a camera is inactive and remains so for many months or even years at a time then it begs the question, why is it there?,” Road Angel founder, Gary Digva, commented on the findings from the new research study.

“Yes, it may still play a part in encouraging traffic to slow down, but it could also act to distract drivers and potentially cause an accident.

It’s all according to freedom of information requests (FOI) answered by 25 out of 44 UK police forces / Credit: Jenoptik & TfGM

“Our view is that if cameras are present then drivers should be able to feel assured that they are working. If they are non-operational then they should be removed, and that is why we are calling on police forces and local authorities across the country to carry out an audit of cameras and remove any non-operational devices as quickly as possible.”

The findings from this study come after more than 100 new ‘ultra’ speed cameras were installed across Greater Manchester earlier last month.

Speeding drivers were warned they’re more likely get caught, as although these new ‘spot speed’ VECTOR-SR cameras – which are developed by Jenoptik, and have been funded through the Mayor’s Challenge Fund (MCF) – are are also painted an eye-catching bright yellow and will be in operation 24/7 like the speed cameras were all familiar with, they do work slightly differently.

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Unlike older-style cameras, these new ‘ultra’ speed cameras don’t require painted lines on the road, and also use infra-red low-light technology – which means they no longer ‘flash’ at speeding drivers.

Featured Image – The RAC