New 'ultra' speed cameras can catch drivers speeding, on phones and not wearing seatbelts

The new speed cameras and someone on their phone

The new speed cameras do not make use of AI

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 15/11/2023

- 09:15

Updated: 15/11/2023

- 09:43

More than 100 new speed cameras are already monitoring roads

A new speed camera is being rolled on roads to improve road safety by spotting drivers potentially committing a number of different motoring offences.

The VECTOR-SR cameras have been funded through the Mayor’s Challenge Fund to improve road safety, although drivers will no longer be “flashed” around Greater Manchester.

They will be painted yellow and will operate around the clock like traditional cameras, but they will not look the same as previous equipment, with more than 100 spot speed cameras being upgraded.

The new “ultra” speed cameras do not require painted lines on the road and use infra-red low-light technology, resulting in the missing “flash”.

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While the cameras do not make use of artificial intelligence (AI), if someone is caught speeding, they could also be prosecuted for using their mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt.

A further warning to drivers has been issued, with the "ultra" cameras being able to capture two-way traffic, unlike traditional cameras which can only catch the left-hand lane.

The new changes are being introduced as part of Greater Manchester’s commitment to Vision Zero.

This aims to improve road safety to ensure there are no serious injuries or fatalities on the road.

Superintendent Gareth Parkin of Greater Manchester Police’s Safer Transport Team said: “The new and upgraded speed cameras across the city region will ensure that drivers adhere to road speeds and do not engage in reckless or anti-social driving.

“Speed limits are put in place to ensure our roads are safe. Excessive speeds increase the chances of driver error, increase the time it takes for a vehicle to stop and can also increase fatalities in the event of a collision."

There were 1,711 fatalities around the UK last year on the roads with speeding being one of the most important factors for this.

There have been almost 19,000 fatalities on roads since 2012, which is more harm than knife crime across the country.

In Greater Manchester alone, almost three-quarters of collisions involved human error, with speeding a key issue.

Superintendent Parkin stressed the importance of individual responsibility, which has resulted in the targeted campaign against speeding drivers.

He added: "I would like to thank the Mayor’s Office and Safer Roads Greater Manchester for continuing to work with GMP to help tackle these issues.

“GMP will not allow the safety of our roads to be compromised by dangerous drivers, and appropriate action will always be taken against offenders.”

Peter Boulton, Head of Highways at Transport for Greater Manchester, reiterated the call for increased safety, adding that any death or serious injury on the road is one too many.

He said: “By investing in these safety cameras, we are underlining our commitment to Vision Zero, our ambition to reduce and eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our roads, therefore making Greater Manchester a safer place for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and motorists.


Old speed cameras

The new speed cameras can view two lanes of traffic


“However education is just as important as enforcement when it comes to tackling speeding, and I would strongly advise drivers to consider their behaviour when on the road to keep themselves and others safe.”

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