VAN drivers who flout their class speed limits are at greater risk of being caught. That’s the latest smart speed camera warning to van drivers as the latest hi-tech camera systems show that you really must know and stick to your limits.

You can no longer rely on cameras ‘clocking’ only those vehicles exceeding the standard car limit for the road – say 70mph for a dual carriageway where 60mph is the maximum for vans, lower for trucks in some places like Scotland. Or on out-of-town de-restricted single carriageway roads where cars, car-derived vans and camper vans can do 60 but 50mph is the limit for panel vans.

And the penalties for speeding are high. Click here for details. Being clocked at 75 on a ‘fast’ country road brings the risk of a ban and at least six points for a van driver exceeding the van limit by 50%.

To avoid paying expensive penalties, some drivers resort to the use of latest radar detectors by top vehicle accessory manufacturers, like the Redline 360c by Escort or R1 by Uniden, which can inform the driver if there are any speed cameras up ahead.

What are the speed limits for vans?

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With the vast major of latest generation safety cameras being directly linked to ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) systems, the data they record can immediately determine the type of vehicle being driven and therefore its appropriate limit for that type of road.

More than 250 miles of roads in Great Britain are now being regularly monitored by average speed cameras, according to statistics released by the RAC Foundation, but there are thousands of other speed cameras, both at fixed locations and mobile.

Leading safety campaigners are calling for drivers of larger vehicles to properly recognise the limits specific for their vehicles, especially in Scotland where speed limits for HGVs on single lane carriageways remain at 40mph, as opposed to 50mph in England and Wales – a situation that has led to a large amount of confusion with drivers and operators alike.

For example, an HGV travelling at 50mph within a general 50mph limit, but on a single carriageway road in Scotland, will be recorded as breaking the law. Scotland did not follow England and Wales when HGV speed limits were raised from 40 to 50mph for single carriageway roads and 50 to 60mph for dual carriageways in 2015.

Smart speed camera warning

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “Speed limits are lower for larger vehicles because their extra size and mass means they take longer to stop and any impact is more severe, therefore drivers should be aware of the speed limit that applies to the vehicle they are driving and always stay within that limit.”

Research carried out for the RAC Foundation by Road Safety Analysis has identified at least 50 stretches of road which are permanently managed by SPECS and VECTOR cameras, which monitor a vehicle’s speed over a prescribed distance.

With a total length of 256 miles under observation across the UK, average speed cameras are also often used on a temporary basis to manage traffic through roadworks but these are not included in the RAC Foundation study.

The 50 stretches subject to the smart speed camera warning range in length from just a quarter of a mile over Tower Bridge in London to 99 miles on the A9 between Dunblane and Inverness in Scotland.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Average speed cameras are becoming a more common fixture on Britain’s roads. Unsurprisingly, the indications are that compliance with the speed limit through stretches of road managed by average speed cameras is high, but the acid test is whether accident and casualty rates have also fallen.

“That is what the next part of this research project should tell us.”