Ex-Traffic Cop Lifts The Lid On Speeding

Wed 8th Sep 2021

The many myths of how and when drivers can get punished for speeding have been tackled by a former police officer who is now working as a Casualty Reduction Officer, with his trusty speed camera and van.

Gareth Thomas, spent the day with journalists as he went about his business for GoSafe, a role which is technically police work as he is carrying out duties set out by the Chief Constable of his respected force in Wales.

The former cop said: "I decided after retiring that I wanted to make the roads as safe as they can be in this area. The aim of cameras is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. GoSafe prefers to educate drivers rather than punish them with fines and penalty points."

So what where the myths that Gareth busted? Well the biggest has to be that the speed camera vans have to be visible if they are to catch speeding motorists. However, Gareth reveals that there are no actual laws on visibility and that they could operate in the dark, or hidden out of view if required.
"Legally, we don't have to be visible. I could camouflage myself if I wanted to - but it is all about being fair, education and preventing an accident,” Thomas told NorthWalesLive.

"Even if I parked my van and went for a walk somewhere, it would deter people speeding right away."

Another widely held belief is that the speed cameras can only catch you travelling in one direction, this is another myth, though Gareth did confirm that the 10 per cent plus 1mph rule does exist, but with different variations across police forces.

Gareth did however challenge the strongly held view that they are there to collect easy money from motorists, explaining that his team see none of the money from fines.
He said: "We are not here to get figures or to make money. We are just here to catch the people who are speeding,” he said.

"If I get a day where I don't get any drivers speeding, then I know I have done my job. If I have been working an eight hour shift, I just hope at least one person that day has escaped injury or a crash has been avoided.”