The laws on speed camera detection in Europe have always been somewhat confusing. In our experience of speaking to customers, we have heard some horror stories and have always erred on the side of caution when giving out product advice. We know for sure that France has proved tricky for UK motorists with hefty fines and confiscation of devices. Stories exist of the Jean Damme stopping motorists and searching their vehicles regardless of whether they are using a camera detection device or not.
So that’s France, but what abut the rest of Europe?
Common knowledge suggests that the Swiss take a similar line to the French but in actual fact, it is illegal to use a GPS device to detect fixed speed cameras in Europe with only the UK and Hungary allowing motorists to use their GPS device to locate fixed cameras. Elsewhere, expect a fine of anywhere up to £2,634 (recently issued in Italy) and with 1 in 5 UK motorists being stopped by police, it’s not a risk worth taking.
The European motoring laws are not 100% clear so it is likely that any penalties are attributed to ignorance. With a large proportion of these fines being paid for on the spot in cash, the process is questionable at best. So what are we getting at?
With the summer fast approaching many of you will be heading abroad in your cars, caravans and motorhomes so as well as it being a great time to look at buying a new sat nav, it is certainly worth brushing up on local laws before you travel. Most navigation devices these days will display the current speed limit of roads you are travelling on which should be enough so make sure you know how to switch your speed camera alerts off completely.
Better safe than sorry!