Many of us have probably experienced how to spot a delivery van and not know if you were caught.

But if you're not sure why and how tickets are issued, you can have an even bigger lump in your stomach.

In an attempt to separate facts from fictions, we spent the day at Glascoed Road in St. Asaph with seven-year-old Go Safe Casualty Reduction Officer, Gareth Thomas, to dispel all the myths.

The former police officer in North Wales told us exactly how speed cameras work, what facts are behind some of the most popular myths and claims, and how you can avoid being caught up in the tempo.

He said, "After my resignation, I decided to make the roads in this area as safe as possible.

"The goal of cameras is to reduce the number of people killed or severely injured in our streets.

"Go Safe prefers to train drivers instead of punishing them with fines and penalties."

Gareth Thomas has been with GoSafe for seven years

Here, Gareth answers a series of questions that will hopefully prevent you from being fined.

Is it true that vans always have to be visible?

No. There are no laws on visibility, so nothing prevents an officer from operating in the dark.

But they do not often opt for it, claiming that the visible acts as an independent deterrent.

Gareth said, "Legally, we do not have to be visible, I could disguise myself if I wanted – but it's all about being fair, teaching, and preventing an accident.

"Even if I turned off my van and went for a walk somewhere, it would stop people from racing right away."

Can officials catch only motorists traveling in one direction?

Gareth Thomas, head of accident prevention and retired police officer, says officials do not have to be visible to track down fast-moving motorists

No. Any car passing a Go Safe-Van will be recorded on the officer's camera.

So, if you exceed the speed limit, whether you drive in the same direction or in the opposite direction to the van, you can count on a Speeding Ticket.

Is it true that the 10 percent rule exists?

Yes. You will not get a ticket, provided your speed does not exceed the limit by more than 10 percent plus 1 mph on North Wales roads, says Gareth.

For example, driving at a speed of 35 km / h or more in a zone of 30 km / h is registered as a speeding violation.

Go Safe says the thresholds vary and may change without notice. Officially, any speeding occurs at a speed of 1 km / h above the limit, but most forces allow for a drift.

Are officers sources of revenue for the government?

Gareth explained, "We're not here to collect numbers or make money, we're just here to catch the people who are getting faster.

"If I have a day when I can not get riders to speed, then I know I've done my job.

"If I have worked eight hours in the shift, I just hope that at least one person escaped injury that day or accident was avoided."

Radar camera car

Can I get caught by the same camera more than once the same day?

The current position at Go Safe is that if you get caught twice in 20 minutes, it will be treated as a criminal offense.

Theoretically, a driver with a previously clean driver's license could be caught several times on the same day – and as a result, be in danger of being disqualified as part of the totting-up system.

If you are caught several times on the same journey while speeding and accept a fixed penalty for each trip, you risk being excluded from qualifying for penalty points (totting-up).

Gareth says it can be easier than you might think, for example, when several radar cameras are on the same road or highway.

However, if it is assumed that the offenses were committed "for the same reason", the court may, at its discretion, set only one point rate for two or more offenses. Whether violations on the same occasion are treated as committed is up to the court. They do not have to be committed at the same time, but must be connected in some way.

For example, if the offenses were committed within a few minutes, the court may be tempted to impose only one set of points. Each case will depend on its facts.

Go Safe Speed ​​Camera van

Is it illegal to block a van from seeing the street?

Yes. Blocking the field of view of a GoSafe van during its operation is punishable and can be prosecuted.

Do officers force anything other than speeding?

Yes. The officers make sure that you are strapped in and do not carry your mobile phone by the wheel. Anyone who gets caught violating these laws will be prosecuted.

This is the reason why you sometimes see a GoSafe radar truck in an area where there are already permanent speed cameras.

Is it illegal to eat behind the wheel?

Gareth Thomas said he became an accident reduction officer to make the roads as safe as possible after retiring as a police officer

No it is not. However, if you are distracted while snacking behind the wheel, the police may prosecute you for negligent driving.

Gareth said, "It's good, I once had a woman in my eyes and she looked in the mirror and put on lipstick.

"She rode on the cat's eyes in the middle of the road and turned, I recommended prosecuting her for driving without the due care and attention."

Is it illegal to flash the headlights to alert drivers to a GoSafe delivery van?

Gareth Thomas said after finishing a shift, he hopes "at least one person on that day has escaped injury"

When motorists flash to warn others of a van, it may be against the law.

According to Section 89 of the Police Act 1997, it is a criminal offense to "intentionally hinder a police officer in fulfilling his duty".

Gareth, however, says it's a crime, but very difficult to prove. He said, "It does not bother me that people flash up to warn them about the speed-van – I just want to enlighten people and use the van as a speed-deterrent."

How long does GoSafe delivery vans usually stop at a specific location?

For technical reasons, a speed van will only stay in one place for 90 minutes, Gareth said.

During his average eight-hour shift, he normally visits three different places in the region he is to visit.

Who decides where GoSafe vans park?

Radar camera car

Enforcement is typically carried out in specific areas for a number of reasons, including:

  • Death or serious bodily injury has occurred at the site.
  • Speeds in the region were rated as significantly high.
  • Residents have voiced concerns about speeding and these concerns have been underpinned by a traffic speed survey.
  • Go Safe supports a police campaign

What happens if I get caught while accelerating?

It all depends on the circumstances in which you were caught accelerating and how far you have exceeded the limit.

The minimum penalty for driving on British roads is £ 100.

But Gareth said that in certain circumstances, the police could offer the opportunity to attend a speed awareness course – an alternative to a fine and penalty points.

Gareth said, "An accredited course is more likely to improve driver behavior and thus increase the safety of our recreational athletes.

"The courses are available to drivers who respond quickly to the" hints "and do not drive more than 10 percent plus 14 km / h above the specified speed limit."

For example, no one who drives over 100 km / h on a motorway would be offered the sensitization course.

If you do not have a clean license at the time of the office or have attended the course for the past three years, it is unlikely that the awareness-raising course will be offered as an option.

Operation SNAP

View of the screen for identifying fast-moving drivers

Operation SNAP is a police response to the increasing transmission of video and photo evidence by members of the public regarding witnesses of traffic offenses.

Violations can be reported either through or through the North Wales Police website.

More information can be found here.