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It goes without saying that speeding is the most common driving offence in the UK by quite some distance, with Gov.uk data finding that 56% of cars were exceeding speed limits on motorways in 2020.

But where are the worst areas for speeding and which specific speed cameras are catching the most people out?

Car Lease Special Offers sent Freedom of Information requests to 44 police forces in the UK to find out how often the speed cameras in their areas were being activated from 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2022.

West Yorkshire Had the Most Speed Camera Activations

When analysing the areas with the highest number of speed camera activations, it was West Yorkshire that was top of the list by quite a distance. They had 1,005,830 total activations since January 2019, which is an average rate of 848 flashes per day and 35 flashes per hour.

For context, if all of these activations led to prosecutions at the minimum fine amount of £100 each, it could total an eye-watering amount of £10,058,3000.

With the likes of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, and Wakefield in their area, West Yorkshire Police have clearly been kept quite busy with motorists not following the law when it comes to their vehicle’s speed.

The Metropolitan Police have also been kept on high alert, as the speed cameras in the London area were activated 789,621 times since the start of 2019. If you believe in bad omens, then you might want to ignore the fact that this averages out at 666 flashes per day, or 27 flashes per hour.

Rounding out an unwanted place in the top 3 was Sussex, with a bigger drop down to 272,245 total activations, with an average of 229 flashes per day or 9 per hour.

Areas With the Most Speed Camera Activations

Police Force Area

Total Activations

Flashes per Day (Average)

Flashes per Hour (Average)

  1. West Yorkshire

1,005,830

848

35

  2. Metropolitan

789,621

666

27

  3. Sussex

272,245

229

9

  4. West Midlands

255,722

215

8

  5. Kent

251,833

212

8

  6. Surrey

243,677

205

8

  7. North Yorkshire

227,945

192

8

  8. South Yorkshire

214,582

181

7

  9. Devon and Cornwall

209,428

176

7

  10. Bedfordshire

204,793

172

7

* Data from 1st January 2019 to 31st March 2022, collected by FOI requests to UK police forces

Derbyshire Had the Least Speed Camera Activations

On the other end of the scale, Derbyshire was the area with the least number of speed camera activations at 34,177 overall since the start of 2019. This averaged out at just 28 flashes a day, with 1.2 flashes an hour, suggesting that drivers on Derbyshire roads are sticking to the speed limits much more than the rest of the UK.

Merseyside was also very low on the list, with 34,622 activations in total at 29 flashes per day and 1.2 flashes an hour.

Rounding out the top three for the areas with the least speed camera activations was Cleveland in the northeast of England, where there were only 37,795 activations in total.

Areas With the Least Speed Camera Activations

Police Force Area

Total Activations

Flashes per Day (Average)

Flashes per Hour (Average)

  1. Derbyshire

34,177

28

1

  2. Merseyside

34,622

29

1

  3. Cleveland

37,795

31

1

  4. Suffolk

39,323

33

1

  5. North Wales

69,787

58

2

  6. Norfolk

79,624

67

2

  7. Gwent

87,515

73

3

  8. Gloucestershire

98,945

83

3

  9. Cheshire

109,361

92

3

  10. Dorset

115,199

97

4

* Data from 1st January 2019 to 31st March 2022, collected by FOI requests to UK police forces

M25 in Surrey Had the Flashiest Single Speed Camera

When looking at the individual speed cameras that catch the most people out, it was a camera on the M25 between Junction 7 and 16 in Surrey that had the most activations since the start of 2019, with a total of 75,803. This averages out at a massive 63 per day and 2.6 per hour.

The next highest came on the A282 Dartford Tunnel Approach Road in Kent, which saw 52,548 activations. A slight step down from the number one, this was at an average of 44 flashes per day and 1.8 per hour.

Third place went to a camera at the A1081 Airport Way in Luton, Bedfordshire, with 43,783 activations at an average of 36 per day and 1.5 per hour. It appears people may have been in a rush to make their flight! If you are going on holiday this summer, make sure to check out our list of the best UK airports to park.

Surrey had a second camera in the top five of our list with the M3 Junction 2-4 in fourth at 40,150, while Sussex had their highest single camera at fifth on the A270 Lewes Road in Brighton, at 35,897 total activations.

How-Often-Speed-Cameras-Go-Off-1200px-(3-hours)

The A174 (Lazenby Bypass) Had the Lowest Number of Flashes Per Day

At the other end, however, is the camera on the A174 (Lazenby Bypass) in Cleveland, with the lowest number of flashes per day.

Since the start of 2019 until 31st March 2022, this has had 1,223 activations. That equates to just 1.03 flashes per day.

Cleveland was also home to the camera with the second lowest flashes per day, located on The Avenue. This had 1,353 activations since the start of 2019, or 1.14 flashes daily.

Will Bullen of Car Lease Special Offers added: ” While speeding continues to be the biggest offender when it comes to driving fines, it’s important to remember to stick to the speed limit and avoid dangerous driving that could cause harm to yourself and other road users. Know the route you wish to travel on or research it before you go on a trip, and leave yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination to avoid having to speed up and get caught by a camera.”

If you need advice on how to avoid potential speeding issues, you can read through our guide on how to stay safe and reduce your speed while out on UK roads.

Methodology

Car Lease Special Offers sent Freedom of Information requests to 44 police forces in the UK to find out how often the speed cameras in their areas were being activated since 1 January 2019.

Not all of these police forces replied, while some refused to offer either the full amount of requested data or any data at all.

Our exact request related to the location of each speed camera in their area, as well as how many times those cameras had been activated by someone driving over the designated speed limit. This covered both fixed and mobile speed cameras too.

For the purposes of the image, 10 seconds in real-time represents one hour of the data. We then mapped out the top five single speed cameras that were activated the most.


 

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