IAM STUDY REVEALS PENALTIES FOR USING SAFETY CAMERA DETECTORS ABROAD

The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) is this month warning motorists to dismantle or remove their safety camera detectors when driving abroad to avoid serious penalties. In some countries, in-car sat nav systems that show where safety cameras are located are also banned.

A survey of motoring clubs across Europe in 23 countries found that only two - the UK and Hungary - permit the use of both camera detectors and POI (points of interest) sat nav systems.

Thirteen countries, including Austria, France and Italy allow POI systems but not camera detection equipment. Camera detection equipment actively detects radar or laser signals from a safety camera or speed gun and alerts the driver to its presence. The IAM Trust has always supported the banning of such equipment because its main use is to allow drivers to speed without fear of detection.

Seven countries prohibit POI systems, including popular tourist destinations such as Ireland, Germany and Switzerland. The POI function is built into many sat nav units and shows the location of fixed safety cameras from information in the unit’s CD-ROM database, which can usually be updated. POI systems normally feature information about garages, car parks, shops and other facilities. In most modern units this information can be turned off.

Neil Greig, Director of the IAM Motoring Trust said: “There have been incidents when camera detectors have been literally ripped out by local police. The best thing to do is check if detectors are permitted in the country you plan to visit or simply don’t take one with you.”

Punishment for using prohibited equipment varies widely from country to country. In Germany a fine of €75 is levied if the sat nav POI function is not switched off. In Switzerland and Ireland your sat nav could be confiscated.
           
Mr Greig added: “Driving abroad can be an unnerving experience. While away take extra care to observe speed limits in unfamiliar countries. If you planned to rely on your sat nav to give you directions, take a local map as well and plan a route before travelling.”

The list below shows which countries allow detectors and which do not.

Country

Point of Interest systems

Camera detection equipment

Austria

Permitted

Prohibited

Belgium

Permitted

Prohibited

Bosnia-Herz.

Prohibited

Prohibited

Bulgaria

Prohibited

Prohibited

Cyprus

Prohibited 

Prohibited

Czech Rep.

Prohibited

Prohibited

Denmark

Permitted

Prohibited

Finland

Permitted

Prohibited

France

Permitted

Prohibited

Germany

Prohibited

Prohibited

Hungary

Permitted

Permitted

Ireland

Prohibited

Prohibited

Italy

Permitted

Prohibited

Luxembourg

Permitted

Prohibited

Macedonia

Prohibited

Prohibited

Netherlands

Permitted

Prohibited

Norway

Permitted

Prohibited

Portugal

Permitted

Prohibited

Russia

Permitted

some types permitted

Slovakia

Permitted

Prohibited 

Sweden

Permitted

Prohibited

Switzerland

Prohibited

Prohibited

UK

Permitted

legislation in preparation

*Information provided by the AIT / FIA Information Centre (OTA)

ENDS

Media contact
IAM Media Relations 020 8996 9777
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