A lawyer has explained whether speed cameras in the UK have to be visible and also the circumstances surrounding challenging fines.

Ever since the first speed camera was installed in the UK back in 1991, drivers have been trying to trick the system and avoid being caught.

But as the years roll on, technology keeps up.

There are now around 7,000 cameras around the UK's road network, and in 2022 they resulted in the prosecution of 245,043 people – the highest figure since records began. 

Do speed cameras have to be visible?

All working speed cameras on the strategic road network should be painted yellow, although this rule isn’t legally required. 

The yellow paint scheme was introduced in 2015 following a review by ministers, with the Government saying it would improve speed camera visibility to ensure motorists were not unfairly penalised.

Some speed cameras can still be difficult to spot, especially mobile units, but the yellow cameras are considered by many to be a significant improvement over the old, grey cameras.

Recommended reading:

Government road safety experts debunk 5 speed camera myths

How far away can a speed camera catch you from?

Speed camera myths: From flashing lights to the 10% rule

What the lawyers say

A person who was caught speeding asked lawyers at Patterson Law a question about their case: "I was caught speeding by a camera at 4am doing 38 in a 30mph zone but I’m sure I was doing 34-35 and an overgrown hedge covers the camera and has made the yellow part of the camera green and black.

"I have a pic but not good plus there is a lamp post next to it so the light is making the camera invisible till daylight which you still cannot see until you are within five meters away I have got my speeding form what shall I do send it off straight away? Thanks".

One of their team, Louise, responded: "Speed cameras do not have to be visible by law. Some guidelines suggest they should be, but if you challenge the allegation the only thing the court will be interested in is whether or not the police can prove their case against you beyond reasonable doubt.

"If you accept that you were speeding – which it seems you do – then you should take the ticket. Otherwise, you put yourself at risk of higher fines and court costs."