- Cascading speed traps have been introduced in parts of Spain to catch drivers
- They use secondary radar devices before or after a permanently installed speed camera
- They measure whether drivers significantly adjust their speed to avoid detection
New technology has been introduced on Spanish roads that detects whether drivers are slowing down just before a speed camera – and then speeding up once they’ve passed it.
Authorities have begun deploying secondary radar devices either before or after a fixed camera location to measure whether drivers are reducing their speed only briefly to avoid detection and the fines that would result from exceeding the speed limit.
The new “anti-braking” speed cameras were introduced in the north-east region of Navarre following a successful pilot project in 2020.
And experts have warned that the technology – if proven effective – could be used on British roads in the future.
Using secondary radar devices in front of or after a stationary speed camera, authorities in Spain can detect and penalize drivers who brake sharply before reaching the posted speed camera or accelerate sharply shortly after passing it
The cascade system deploys a secondary mobile radar device directly in front of or behind a fixed speed camera location, sometimes up to a kilometer away from the traditional camera.
The radar is then used to detect whether a motorist has either braked excessively to avoid triggering a posted fixed camera or whether they have accelerated significantly after passing the location.
The groundbreaking technology has been given the green light by the Spanish government’s transport department – the General Directorate of Transport (DGT).
The aim is to identify drivers who try to avoid fines by only temporarily reducing their speed to avoid detection.
The order has already been shown to deter speeding in the region, with motorists facing fines of up to €200 (£175) if caught on secondary radar.
This anti-braking technology was tested by the Chartered Police of Navarra during Holy Week 2020 and was recently rolled out throughout the medieval Basque Country, including the capital and largest city Pamplona, famous for its annual running of the bulls.
Given that Spanish speed cameras – which are gray and often positioned further down the roadside than their counterparts in the UK – are already harder to detect, the addition of secondary enforcement measures could make them one of the most common speed traps on roads across Europe.
Pictured: A speed camera in Barcelona. Unlike the UK, where speed cameras are painted yellow, devices in Spain are gray and notoriously harder to spot
Dashcam and speed camera detection device manufacturer Road Angel says it is a more advanced version of the technology used in the UK.
And that’s what the company boss said The Express that he believes Spain’s anti-braking cameras could be on our roads as early as next year.
They would be a next step to the average speed cameras that have been used in the UK since 1999.
While early examples of this technology could only calculate a driver’s average speed between two specific cameras, the latest average speed cameras can use a network of up to 1,000 separate devices to take various measurements across a section of road.
Road Angel founder Gary Digva says the new Spanish technology could be incredibly effective if introduced in the UK, where drivers often brake hard before approaching a fixed speed camera to avoid detection, and then accelerate again straight away.
“If introduced [in the UK]“These devices will catch and penalize more speeders, encouraging more drivers to adhere to legal limits and improving road safety,” he explained.
“One in four fatal collisions occur due to speeding on British roads. [meaning] Over 2,500 people are seriously injured every year due to excessive speed.
“These shocking statistics alone should encourage drivers to think twice before speeding, but it is safe to say that new technology will penalize even more drivers who exceed the legal speed limit, helping to reduce the speed limit “To make UK roads safer for all road users.”
“By detecting drivers who hit the brakes before passing the fixed speed camera and using technology to catch motorists who accelerate again after the speed camera, the new speed cameras can penalize many more drivers than current ones systems.”
This month it was revealed that Greater Manchester Police have installed over 100 of these high-tech two-way ‘Ultra’ speed cameras across the city, capable of tracking not only speeders but also drivers who are illegally not wearing a seatbelt or don’t have a phone behind the wheel
Mr. Digva has previously warned about this future AI developments could lead to speed camera technology being further developed in the future – and warned that police could even use drones to monitor motorists’ speeds from above.
Reports that anti-brake speed detection devices may be coming to our roads follow the deployment of new two-way “Ultra” cameras across the country.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed this month that it has installed 100 VECTOR SR cameras to catch motorists speeding in the city.
These cameras don’t flash and use the latest infrared technology, so there’s no need to paint white lines on the roads they monitor.