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GCab

Flashed! M6 toll/M42 junction, gantry camera - not good

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Hmm... had all points long expired, but I suspect looking at court now - I came off the M6 toll last night a mite too fast, having got complacent on a dry empty road (and after semi-commuting to and from Lakes every month for 3 years).

I follow the variable limits when in force and it's usually busy anyway, but this time everything was empty, and (clearly) may have been on the wrong side of things on the toll road to start with, and was just coming up to the merging point but with not much traffic anywhere. There were about 3 of us moving loosely at similar speed but I was in front by a nose so it will have been me that triggered it.

Sudden double flash from gantry. As far as I can recall there were no VSL numbers up (and wouldn't expect any - Sunday 9ish pm?), but I'm pretty sure the needle had gone above on the wrong side of the fixed penalty vs. court figure, although less than 105. How do I know the latter? Well, I usually have the Audi speed alarm at 95 permanently, in case of forgetfulness/enthusiasm like now rather than because I always cruise there, but I'd been showing it to someone a few weeks ago and clicked it up by 10 and forgot to put it back. I had a few points (max 6) years ago but since getting more sedate I haven't bothered with Road Angel type things since changing car 4 yrs ago.

All my own fault of course and I've never been one for "when was that camera last calibrated, Officer?" type shenanigans, so it'll be the suit and apologetic appearance in court if it comes to it (I'm pretty sure it will be the latter), so I'm not looking for tips on how to get off or which lawyer to get.

Couple of practical tips, though:

1. I've read that the M42 cameras are set for variable limit activation only, and do not enforce 70mph when the signs are off. I've also read (random forum searching elsewhere, las night) rumours that they are set to go off above 93 or 95 in any case. I've also read, countering this, that the law for the M42 ones is that fixed-site cameras can't be used to enforce the national speed limit on motorways, but that this was changed for the new M1 cameras. Is this all rubbish? In any case, having seen the flash, I assume this is a moot point and they will have registered?

2. I also assume (now that things are digital) that flash = NIP, since there's no point hoping that the film had run out etc like in the old days - correct? (my previous points were in 1995, 97 etc., and I had a few escapes after being flashed around then, but it was a long time ago...).

3. In terms of what might follow: looking at older posts here, the pattern seems to be (for, say, 95-105 - not that I'm saying that was my speed, but looking at worst case scenarios) something like £250-400, six points, +/- if the judge is unmoved by work commitments then 25 days/3-4 weeks ban? I do actually need the car for emergency calls to work and don't know what the solution will be (I know, I know, "you should have thought of that before you..." etc. etc.) but I don't want to bank on them taking that into account.

Advice / info please! Many thanks. I do appreciate all the stuff about taking the train there, looking smart, being properly remorseful, etc., and as I say that's sort of my default mode anyway, in that I've always thought I could never have the face to pull off the aggrieved off-on-a-technicality thing. Plus I was going too fast and intend to declare so. But any thoughts welcome.

Edited by GCab

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Not all the cameras there are digital are they?

If not, the enforcing force might not have the resources to send a bloke every day/week to change the film/get it processed - he says hopefully.

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Thanks for advice, links, (and hopefulness) guys. Lots of useful stuff there, and the incident is a reminder not to get complacent - I used to be a bit fast 10-15 years ago and am not always sedate now, but one thing this has made me realise is that alhough I used to go back and forth on motorways quite a lot, I'd have always regarded >85, >90 (and especially >95) as silly, before spending 4-5 hours at a time on the M6 twice a month, but once I'd begun doing that I'd let my 'norm' drift upwards (in good conditions) ... so it's lucky in a way to get a camera flash (and probable consequences, though I could do without those) to remind me to dial it down again, rather than anything worse.

Edited by GCab

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Not all the cameras there are digital are they?

That's grasping at straws, the area is high density, it's not some quite A road- So I'd imagine the picture arrived at a central server store about a nano second after it recorded you.

I'd go with the hope that 104 ish in an Audi will be 4-6% over real speed and thus the camera recorded you at sub 100 true speed.

If so then £60 + 3 points. Check your speedo against a gps unit and see if there is hope for sub 100 true reading.

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I'd have always regarded >85, >90 (and especially >95) as silly, before spending 4-5 hours at a time on the M6 twice a month, but once I'd begun doing that I'd let my 'norm' drift upwards (in good conditions) ... so it's lucky in a way to get a camera flash (and probable consequences, though I could do without those) to remind me to dial it down again, rather than anything worse.

I have set the second of my audible speed alarms on the Audi to go off at 95 so agree with your sentiment. Likewise I have lately tended to find my norm drift upwards recently (speed awareness course later this week attests to that!) but I saw a terrible terrible crash on the northbound M6 a couple of weeks ago when I was heading south with one car pretty much a pancake that it had a very stark effect on me.

Re Speed - I have found that my speedo tends to over-estimate a little compared with my satnav and also those digital speed signs that you come across

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I must admit I had thought the gantry cameras on variable speed limit sections (M25, M42 etc) only enforced lower limits, so I guess I too would be concerned if I triggering one when National Speed Limit applied!

If the needle was showing 105mph, there's a good chance your actual speed was just under the ton, so it may not be a summons.

I guess you just have that horrible two weeks or so to wait for the NIP to arrive. :(

Bad luck.

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I'd go with the hope that 104 ish in an Audi will be 4-6% over real speed and thus the camera recorded you at sub 100 true speed.

If so then £60 + 3 points. Check your speedo against a gps unit and see if there is hope for sub 100 true reading.

Various posts, various sites suggest it's common for the speedo on Audis to be over reading, compared to true speed by 4-9%.

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Various posts, various sites suggest it's common for the speedo on Audis to be over reading, compared to true speed by 4-9%.

Given the legal requirements for speedometer readings I would expect that is the case for the majority of new cars. They inevitably have a tolerance when it comes to accuracy, and that must be catered for without ever under-reading.

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Given the legal requirements for speedometer readings I would expect that is the case for the majority of new cars. They inevitably have a tolerance when it comes to accuracy, and that must be catered for without ever under-reading.

I think my Ducati says 10% in the handbook, I have also noticied the speed warning set at 95mph on my Audi seems to chime in at an indicated 100 but a GPS 95 so I think the speed warning is more accurate than the speedo.

Fingers crossed for you anyway !

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Is it too early to uncrossed fingers? Been two weeks and two days now (flash was on a Sunday night, and nothing in post today).

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Your probably ok, but it just has to have been posted within 14 days, not arrive in 14 days, if they can prove that, then it could theoretically take another few days to arrive.

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And thats where the system sucks, it is posted within 14days but they do not have to post it by any means which guarentees delivery, so in theory it gets lost, you get your court summons through 80 days later because they can 'prove' they sent it.

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And thats where the system sucks, it is posted within 14days but they do not have to post it by any means which guarentees delivery, so in theory it gets lost, you get your court summons through 80 days later because they can 'prove' they sent it.

Yes, it's almost as if they write the rules to suit themselves. Oh, wait...

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Will be watching this thread with interest, got flashed this morning in exactly the same place coming off the M6 toll (No VSL displayed, at 5:30am this morning), I may or may not have been doing around 95. Have driven through this section for years with no flashes , i await the postman!

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You're not cheering me up :grin:.

I know it's not guaranteed, but I'm going to allow myself to go with the "M6 gantry cameras only activate/are legally valid during variable speed limit" theory.

The former doesn't explain the flash and no ticket; but if it's true that it needed a rewrite of the law to allow the M1 ganty cameras to be used at the national speed limit (and this didn't apply retrospectivley to the M6 ones), then it might make sense. Ho hum.

Or, I'll just get a nasty surprise in two months.

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Thanks for all the preceding advice, anyway +++. May still need it.

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Really crossing my fingers that nothing comes of this, do about 40k a year, mostly over the limit (allegedly, on motorways only) and have done for the last 6 yrs with no points. Hell, even the fake cameras on the M1 widening works didn't catch me (unsurprisingly since they didn't work anyway), regular 95+ (allegedly) through those, no NIPs. It's dirty to have a flasher straight after you come off the Toll road, will update if i get a NIP.

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Went through the same spot yesterday .... carefully :uhoh:

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Will be watching this thread with interest, got flashed this morning in exactly the same place coming off the M6 toll (No VSL displayed, at 5:30am this morning), I may or may not have been doing around 95. Have driven through this section for years with no flashes , i await the postman!

Did you ever hear any more on this?

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