Up To 500,000 Motorists Face Possible Prosecution



Sales of GPS speed camera devices set to treble
Up to half a million motorists could face prosecution this Spring when the proposed ban on laser and radar speed camera detectors comes into force, according to Cyclops, the GPS-based speed camera alert system.

Under the Government’s Road Safety Bill, all standalone and integrated devices that use laser or radar to warn the driver of mobile speed patrols will be outlawed. The only systems deemed legal under the new legislation will be those that rely entirely on satellite technology to provide the driver with an advance warning of speed enforcement areas.

The market for in-car driver aides has exploded during the past 18 months as the number of fixed road safety cameras jumped to well over 5,000. During 2004, an estimated 3m fixed penalty fines were issued with thousands losing their licence in the process. Cyclops conservatively estimates that the number of vehicles carrying laser or radar detectors stands at over 500,000 today.

Despite the impending ban on the ‘use and carriage’ of these detector systems, Cyclops anticipates the Government’s plan will actually fuel the market for the safer GPS based alert systems.

"The ban on laser detectors is now pretty clear to the industry;" explains Steve Wreford of Cyclops, currently the only unit that is already fully compliant with the Government’s proposal’s. "However, clarification of the changes in the law for drivers will ‘unlock’ significant demand from consumers who have, up until now, been unsure of the legality of the different systems on the market."

By harnessing ‘intelligent’ satellite technology, motorists are able to pinpoint their exact position in comparison to a database of mobile and fixed road safety camera sites across the UK. As the driver nears a site, they automatically receive an audible and visual warning from a dashboard-mounted box. This alert can be up to 800m before the controlled zone allowing them to safely adjust their speed as they approach.

With a maximum of six points for motorists caught excessively speeding (for example 45mph in a 30mph zone), some could lose their licence in just two offences under the new legislation.

This, says Wreford, will further stimulate the market for GPS systems even more.

"Sales of GPS driver aides will soar during the second half of the year," states Wreford. "Before now, the average motorist has tended to shy away from making a purchase fearful of buying a potentially illegal unit. That will change, and for stockists that could mean a doubling or trebling of annual sales by 2006."

Wreford likens the impending boom to the Satellite Navigation market. "Five years ago, it was labelled a luxury item. Today, it generates 500,000 sales annually as more and more people see the benefit. There is no reason why GPS driver safety devices won’t go the same way as road safety camera sites increase over the next few years."


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Radar devices were previously banned but this was overturned when it was challenged in court.

The challenge was on the grounds that the devices were receivers and not transmitters which was why they were banned. The case was won and they have been allowed ever since.

The Government has always said it would reverse this ban, looks like they now have.

When the ban was in place it was legal to sell the devices just illegal to use them - now where have I seen that before?