Speeding is again on the campaign list for police forces across the country according to the RAC.
New speed camera vans could soon be sitting in wait to catch those breaking the limit on the nation’s road network. But this time they won’t be highlighted by bright white or yellow warning paint schemes. Instead, a new generation of ‘stealth’ speed camera vans could be waiting in lay-bys.

Cutting speed

Unlike the traditional police vans seen on and beside roads, these new matt grey vehicles are harder to recognise for drivers.

With speeding sill regarded as a major contributing factor in relation crashes, it is hoped that moves like this could work as a more effective deterrent.

The unmarked vans are currently being trialled by Northamptonshire Police. Should they prove successful, the vans could be introduced nationally.

A bright idea

To reduce costs, existing vehicles will be rewrapped with the subtler matte grey colour.

Police departments across the UK are able to do this – it is not a legal requirement for either local officers or councils to alert drivers about any upcoming speed cameras.

By switching to grey vans, the hope is to stop drivers slowing down just for the police van, to just accelerate past the speed limit after the van is out of sight.

Car-tech company Road Angel stated that the move should hopefully change driver habits for the better.

Strings to the bow

Following the trial announcement, Road Angel’s Founder, Gary Digva, commented: “Introducing these undercover mobile speed camera vans is a positive step forward in reducing the amount of speeding drivers on UK roads.

“Motorists should be aware that other police forces across the country, too, could be rolling out these covert camera vans and should watch their speed wherever they travel.

“The safest way to drive is to assume that every van you see on the road is carrying a speed camera – then you’ll never break the limit, avoid fines and stay safe.

“For motorists that need that extra bit of help keeping within the limit there is technology available that provides drivers with key speed information and safety alerts.

“Although there is certainly still a long way to go to stop speeding vehicles and the number of fatalities and injuries it causes, I hope that deploying these vans will mean motorists will think twice before putting their foot down.

“Not only will you be slapped with a hefty fine and points on your licence, you’re also seriously putting your own and other road users’ lives seriously in danger.”

Technology crashes

Last month, it was announced that a new app could turn every car into a speed camera .

And in October 2022, the Government revealed that new trials would take place and introduce a new road noise camera.This is designed to identify and track drivers who break the law by excessively revving their engines and using modified exhausts.

Bradford, South Gloucestershire, Great Yarmouth, and Birmingham will be used as the pilot areas for the scheme.

Road crashes, deaths and injuries have plateaued over the last decade. Many road safety professionals believe that the abandoning of official road safety targets by the government are a serious contributing factor. They also blame the huge reduction in police numbers, in particular traffic police out on the road network.

These latest trials are seen as a cheap and simple way to police the road network. Government has long agued that technology, which is cheaper, should be used as a tool to cut down on traffic incidents. However, their similar move with smart motorways has now descended into chaos.  Their rumoured abandonment comes after research found technology was unreliable, outdated and ineffective. Coroners, police, road safety experts and judges have all argued smart motorways are not safe. Whether this latest technological solution will really work is open to debate.