Drivers who warn others about speed cameras could land in big trouble

Go Safe – Inside a speed enforcement van

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Facebook users have been seen recently advising others to take down material concerning the locations of speed cameras, particularly mobile cameras. This though can be in breach of section 89 of the Police Act 1997, designed to penalise anyone who “wilfully obstructs” a constable in the execution of his or her duty. It also applies to motorists who flash their lights to alert fellow drivers about speed cameras.

North Wales Police (NWP) said breaking this law can also lead to up to one month in prison.

A spokesperson for the NWP road policing unit told North Wales Live: “Publicising the locations of speed traps hampers the good work that staff and officers do to reduce speeding motorists, which is one of the ‘Fatal Five’ offences. Motorists could be prosecuted if they are caught warning other drivers on the road for any speed trap.”

The warning comes after a motorist took to Facebook to warn a van was operating near Abersoch, northwest Wales. They were advised by other users to take it down – he also posted a photo of the speed trap he’d taken while driving, potentially another driving offence.

In practice, police may take a considered view of the offence given that the rough locations of mobile speed cameras are often publicised in advance. Police partner GoSafe works across North Wales to keep an eye on roads where speeding is a known issue or where people have been killed or injured in the past.

GoSafe said it regularly updates its website to inform the public where it is operating.

A GoSafe spokesperson said: “Community engagement is a core principle of GoSafe and we would encourage any member of the public to engage with us, providing it is safe to do so. If you have any concerns about speeding or driving offences in your area, you can speak to one of our operators or submit them online.”

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