SPEED camera detector apps are an easy way to avoid speeding tickets.

Are they legal to use in the UK and parts of Europe?

Speed Cameras

Speed camera detector apps do exactly what you’d imagine; They detect speed cameras.

Speed camera detector apps work by comparing your car’s current GPS position with the known position of speed cameras on a map. The app will then warn you with a tone or vocals if you’re approaching a speed camera. 

There are two common types of speed cameras, those that use radar and those that pulse laser light instead.

Some apps can pick up on the radar frequency of these cameras and detect the lasers in order to notify you.

Are detector apps illegal? 

Simply, speed camera detectors are legal for use in the UK.

There has been discussion about speed camera detectors being made illegal here in the UK but at the time of writing this article, they are still legal to use on UK roads.

Driving abroad (Europe)

The laws surrounding speed camera detector apps are different throughout Europe.

Highlights, below:

France 

ILLEGAL

If you’re caught using a speed camera detector in France you could be subject to the following penalties.

  • Fines of up to €1,500
  • Confiscation of the device
  • The vehicle being confiscated

If your app can show camera locations in France then you must disable camera alerts before driving in France.

Spain

LEGAL

Until recently, speed camera detecting apps were banned in Spain.

However, since May 2020 they have been made legal – and the Spanish Transport Department even created their own app showing exactly where the cameras are.

Italy

ILLEGAL

Like France, you can be penalised for using a speed camera detector in Italy.

It is illegal and you can be penalised with a fine of up to £2,360.

Germany

LEGAL/ILLEGAL

In Germany, it is strangely legal to own speed camera detection devices but illegal to use them whilst driving.

If you are caught breaking the rules you could be fined and receive points on your license – and your device could be destroyed.

Adapted from an original article by thesun.co.uk