Car Sat Navs

Speed Camera Warnings

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One feature of modern sat nav systems that can be useful is the speed camera warning feature. Most sat navs come with the option to download a database of the latest speed camera locations. With some systems the first download or the first year’s download may be free, with a charge for subsequent updates.

The sat nav will give an audible warning when you are within approximately 200 metres of a fixed speed camera location. We would of course never condone speeding, but with the power of modern cars even the most careful and experienced of drivers can find themselves accidentally going over the speed limit. You're more likely to break the speed limit accidentally on roads you don't know, which might have speed limits you aren't expecting, e.g. a dual carriageway with a 50mph limit. The motorist should be careful of relying entirely on their satnav system to warn them of the presence of speed cameras. It is best to be vigilant, looking out for speed limit signs to ensure that you are driving within the speed limit, and that you are driving at a safe speed for the situation where you are. Another reason why you should not rely on the sat nav is that it can be easy to miss the audible warning, e.g. if you are listening to the radio as well. If you find it hard to keep to the speed limit, then some people find that using cruise control can help to ensure that you maintain a constant speed and never go over the limit. Another technique that can help, particularly for the 30mph limit, is dropping down a gear.

Of course, a sat nav will never be able to tell you about handheld speed cameras such as the radar guns that the police use. Ultimately speed limits are there to protect lives and should be adhered to carefully. If you have been caught by a speed camera, then you may need to improve your driving awareness skills to look for the speed limit signs. Of key importance when driving is to make sure you are not too tired, as this will really affect your driving performance and mean you are far more likely to lose concentration and miss a sign. You also want to make sure you allow enough time for your journey, as you don't want to be rushing.

Some sat navs can also give an indication that you may be driving over the speed limit, e.g. some TomTom sat navs will flash the speed in red on their displays or give you an audible warning to tell you that you are over the limit.


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