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Do you know the traffic cameras to look out for when driving here? Can the CCTV-esque cameras on the lamp posts catch you for speeding? Let's find out!

08 Mar 2019

A photograph taken by these cameras will set you back by hundreds of dollars and put your eligibility to drive on the road at risk. Yes, we are talking about traffic cameras. Most of us are familiar with two types of such cameras on the road - red light cameras and speed cameras. What you might not have noticed, is that not all speed cameras are the same, some are handheld, some are fixed and there are even some that can calculate your average speed.

Furthermore, harsher penalties are now in place for errant drivers from 1 April onwards. The lightest punishment for speeding is a $150 fine (for cars), $200 fine (for heavy vehicles) and 4 demerit points should you exceed the speed limit by 1 to 20km/h, if you were to exceed the speed limit by more than 60km/h, the harshest punishment is 24 demerit points and prosecution in court (this will most certainly result in a suspension of your driver's license).

So, what are the cameras that you should take note of and what these cameras do? Let's find out and bust some myths along the way.

Fixed Speed Cameras are bolted to the ground and cannot be easily relocated, like the other traffic cameras here, these are painted in bright orange with reflective strips
Fixed Speed Camera

As its name suggests, Fixed Speed Cameras are implemented at fixed locations, bolted down to the ground, much like lamp posts and traffic lights. Unlike the film-based traffic cameras of the yesteryears, these cutting edge digital speed cameras are able to simultaneously detect up to 32 vehicles at the same time without the possibility of running out of films.

On the bright side, these cameras are painted in bright orange, with reflective strips, unless you are travelling at warp speed, you'll probably notice them. There are currently 20 of these cameras littered over 11 locations in Singapore, meanwhile 10 similar cameras in a slightly different form factor are located in the KPE and MCE tunnels. Speeding in Singapore is harshly penalised according to how fast you were going.

These cameras can be relocated if needed
Mobile Speed Camera

No, we are not talking about the manned speed traps. You see, the Mobile Speed Camera is a speed camera that was implemented quite recently in 2016. These are similar to the Fixed Speed Cameras, but instead of being rooted to the ground, the Mobile Speed Cameras are battery-operated and can be relocated to a different location if required.

These are also high-tech cameras that are able to capture up to 32 cars at a go, and are also painted in a similar scheme to the Fixed Speed Cameras. As of 2018 December, there are three of such Mobile Speed Cameras in use, located at Aviation Park Road, Liim Chu Kang Road and Seletar Link.

Known colloquially as the 'snipers' these speed cameras are the most difficult to notice on the road
Police Speed Laser Camera

Referred to by many drivers as the 'sniper', this is undoubtedly one of the most dreaded form of traffic enforcement. Unlike the other traffic cameras which are painted in bright orange, this is a manned speed camera that has a tiny form factor - much like your DSLR. As though it isn't inconspicuous enough, these cameras are usually set up on the overhead bridges (hence the 'sniper' moniker) or along the shrubbery at the side of the roads rendering them virtually invisible to the drivers. One can't help but wonder the rationale behind such operations. What we think, is that the element of surprise when drivers do spot these cameras, might actually cause accidents to occur, should they decide to slam on the brakes. But what do we know? We aren't the traffic police.

Beat a red light at a junction with this camera and you are bound to to get slapped with 12 demerit points and a hefty fine!
Red Light Camera

This type of traffic camera is pretty much self explanatory, it is triggered when someone beats the red light. These cameras are also a permanent fixture that cannot be moved between locations, and are found at traffic junctions. Red Light Cameras are usually painted in bright orange with reflective strips as well, and when a vehicle beats the red light, there will usually be a flash, you'll be certain to notice if you have been captured by it.

As of 2018 December, there are 240 of these cameras in use, it surely pays to pay close attention and slow down when approaching a traffic junction. Likewise, with the harsher punishment being implemented from 1 April 2019 onwards, red light offenders will be given 12 demerit points, a $400 fine for cars and $500 fine for trucks.

The latest speed camera here, it measures the average speed of a car using a two-point camera system
Average Speed Camera

Spot a Fixed Speed Camera? Just slam on the brakes, cruise past the camera and you can continue to speed right? (Surely that's what some of us do.) Well, if you tried that with this camera, you will be in for a shock when you still end up receiving a speeding ticket. The latest speed camera added to the ranks of our traffic police's arsenal of weapons against speeders, is the Average Speed Cameras. Unlike the conventional speed cameras which measures the speed of a vehicle at one fixed point, these devices use a two-point camera system to calculate the vehicle's average speed. Apart from that, the camera can also determine if the vehicle is a sedan or a lorry - don't asssume you can get away with exceeding your vehicle's speed limit! The Average Speed Camera is currently implemented at Tanah Merah Coast Road.

There are speed cameras in Sentosa as well!
Sentosa speed cameras

Fixed speed cameras are located at various roads in Sentosa, such as at the gateway, the speed limit in Sentosa is a mere 40km/h on most parts and 50km/h on some two-lane stretches. The traffic cameras in Sentosa are not operated by the LTA or the Traffic Police, these are operated by the Sentosa Development Corporation, which owns the island.

Fines are to be paid to them as well, there will be no demerit points meted out for speeding infractions on the island. There are a total of four speed cameras in Sentosa, these are put in place not only for the safety of pedestrians, but the wildlife as well, so be sure not to speed on the island!

These CCTV-esque cameras are actually surveillance cameras used to monitor traffic conditions
What about the cameras on the lamp posts?

These are traffic cameras operated by LTA to monitor traffic conditions, they are also used to facilitate the Expressway Monitoring Advisory System (EMAS) recovery service. Unlike the rumours, there is no information to support the usage of these cameras to enforce speed limits.

You might be wondering about those viral photos of summons issued with a certain lamp post number being cited as the point of offence. Well, the explanation of this, is that a traffic police officer was manning a Police Speed Laser Camera in the vicinity, and hence the place of offence is recorded so.

Speed cameras are not only technologically advanced, they also need to be properly calibrated regularly (about once a year) to ensure their accuracy. These mean that the speed cameras are expensive to purchase, install and maintain. If the puny CCTV-looking cameras perched on lamp posts every couple hundreds of meters are capable of speed camera duties, one must wonder why the bulky and expensive specialised speed cameras are even required.
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