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- Review Price: £299.99
Speed cameras are a touchy subject. Although many car enthusiasts – myself included – see them as the spawn of Satan, anyone who’s been a victim of a road traffic accident involving excessive speed will probably welcome any measure that reduces such incidents.
The problem is that speed cameras, or safety cameras to give them their official name, make a great deal of money, and it’s therefore very easy for the cynical among us to ascertain that financial profit is the real reason for their existence.
This theory is compounded by the fact that cameras are often located on long, straight stretches of road, with good visibility and multiple lanes, while twisty, off camber roads with hairpin bends rarely have a single camera in sight.
Regardless of what your opinion on the subject of speed cameras is, one thing remains constant – if you get caught by one, you’re looking at a fine, points on your driving license and probably a hefty increase to your insurance premium.
Now before the self righteous masses bang on about how anyone speeding deserves what they get, let’s remember that these camas are black and white – so whether someone is blatantly flouting the speed limit, or whether they have just strayed over a little, the result is often the same.
A couple of years back a friend’s wife was flashed by a camera, having strayed slightly over the speed limit – she was bringing her daughter home from school at the time, and is in no way a speed fiend.
The ever increasing proliferation of speed cameras has resulted in the ever increasing number of products that warn drivers about them. While these units started off as very basic affairs with a few LEDs and rudimentary beeps to warn drivers of upcoming cameras, they have now evolved into fully featured devices with full colour screens and voice alerts.
Interestingly these detectors are illegal in certain European countries, but luckily the fact that “safety cameras” are supposed to be located at accident black spots in the UK, the argument for their use is that the driver is being warned about an upcoming dangerous stretch of road, rather than an upcoming money making camera.
I’ve been using a speed camera detector of one type or another for several years, and the biggest drawback is that it’s a pain keeping your device up to date. Basically, new speed camera locations appear every day, so to keep your detector up to date, you’ll need to download the latest data every day. This means taking the unit out of your car, connecting it to your PC, downloading the latest camera database and then returning it to your car.
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Speaking from personal experience, one of two situations generally occur – you either don’t end up updating your camera detector for weeks on end because it’s too much hassle, or you end up doing the update and then forgetting to put it back in the car the next day, leaving you completely unprotected. That problem however, is now, officially a thing of the past, thanks to the new Road Angel Professional Connected.