Speed cameras are getting smarter

Andrew Newbound

By: Andrew Newbound

Smarten up on LCV speed limits. The speed cameras already have!

Speed cameras are getting smarter. Gone are the days when roadside cameras simply monitored your speed. The latest generation of hi-tech camera can now use number plate recognition to identify which type of vehicle you’re driving. Your speed will then be measured against the limits for your vehicle. And as LCV drivers know, the rules are often different for vans.

For instance, on single carriageways showing the national speed limit signs, cars are permitted to drive at a maximum of 60mph. For commercial vehicles, however, that limit is 50mph. Likewise, cars can drive at up to 70mph on dual carriageways, yet vans must not exceed 60mph.

Until now, speed cameras have been unable to differentiate between vehicle types. If the maximum limit for any stretch of road was 60mph, that’s what all vehicles were measured against. As a consequence, van drivers have able to break the law by driving at the same speed as cars and get away without punishment. Those days could soon be over.

Beware severe penalties for LCV drivers caught speeding


Now, if a camera identifies two vehicles driving at 70mph on a dual carriageway, it will have the ability to identify whether one is a car and the other a van. The car driver is obeying the law, yet the van driver is not. As a result, the camera will instantly report the van driver as speeding and the prosecution process will begin.

Penalties for commercial vehicle drivers caught speeding can be quite severe, with the ultimate sanction being a total ban from all driving. If your living is earned by driving, this could put your livelihood in serious jeopardy. So refreshing your knowledge on LCV speed limits could be the smart thing to do.


Speed limits for LCV under 3.5tonnes


Built-up area -  30mph

Single carriageways -  50mph

Dual carriageway -  60mph

Motorway -  70mph


Speed limits for LCV over 3.5tonnes


Built-up area -  30mph

Single carriageways -  40mph

Dual carriageway -  50mph

Motorway -  60mph


Average-speed checks set to significantly increase


To further encourage LCV drivers to stay within the legal safe driving limits, the RAC Foundation recently revealed that more and more of the UK’s roads are now being monitored by average-speed checks. Originally introduced to primarily monitor driving speeds on stretches of road undergoing maintenance, this traffic management technique is now increasingly being rolled out across the rest of the road network. Indeed, in just the past year, an extra 113 miles of coverage was added and more is set to follow across entire stretches of the country’s motorways and A roads.

So why the focus on LCV drivers? That’s an easy question to answer: your average van is much larger than a car. Vans also carry a lot more cargo and as a result, tend to be much heavier vehicles. If a commercial vehicle is involved in a collision, this extra size and weight means the consequences could be far more severe. Keeping speeds at their permitted levels greatly reduces the risk of accidents and fatalities, particularly for LCV drivers. That’s got to be a smart thing.