Drivers have been warned that believing a common speed camera myth could land them in trouble with the police.

A motoring expert has lifted the lid on whether the commonly held belief that drivers can go ten per cent over the speed limit is true or not.

For many years, many motorists have believed that there is a “10 per cent +2 rule” when it comes to speed cameras, suggesting that drivers can exceed the speed limit without facing consequences.

However, the truth is that it’s actually up to the area’s individual forces themselves to decide, meaning drivers could find themselves with hefty fines or penalties.

Oxford Mail:

Andrew Jervis, CEO of leading online mechanic marketplace Click Mechanic, has urged caution.

He said: “Speeding costs lives and should never be encouraged, regardless of whether it can land you in trouble or not.

"Speed limits are not arbitrary figures; they are carefully determined based on factors such as road design, traffic flow, and pedestrian activity.

“They should not be taken as a target that is there to be exceeded, and failure to adhere to the rules of the road can have serious consequences.

“In any case, the 10 percent rule is guidance for the police forces - and not a rule for members of the public.

“The misconception of a 10 percent leeway could not only see drivers getting fines and/or points on their licence but can cause fatal road traffic collisions.

“As road users, we all have a responsibility to drive with consideration for others to ensure our highways are safe for all to use.”

It originates from speed enforcement guidance issued by the Association of Chief Police Officers and is designed to take into account speed guns used by the police aren’t always 100 per cent accurate.

However, it is also stated the guidelines “do not and cannot replace a police officer’s discretion”, meaning it is no guarantee of avoiding prosecution.

Here are some other common speed camera myths:

Is it true that speed vans have to be visible at all times?

No. There are no laws about visibility, so nothing is stopping an officer from operating in the dark. But they don't often choose to do this and maintain that being visible acts as a deterrent in its own right.

Go Safe Casualty Reduction Officer, Gareth Thomas said: "Legally, we don't have to be visible. I could camouflage myself if I wanted to - but it's all about being fair, education and preventing an accident. Even if I parked my van and went for a walk somewhere, it would deter people from speeding right away."

Is it illegal to flash your headlights to alert motorists of a GoSafe speed van?

If drivers choose to flash to warn others about a speed van, they could be in breach of the law. Under section 89 of the Police Act 1997 it is an offence to "wilfully obstruct a constable in the execution of his/her duty".

However, Gareth says while it is an offence, it is very difficult to prove. He said: "It doesn't bother me that people flash to warn them of the speed van - I just want to educate people and the van to act as a speed deterrent."

What happens if I am caught speeding?

It all comes down to the circumstances within which you were caught speeding, and how much you were more than the limit. The minimum penalty for being caught speeding on the UK's roads is a £100 fine.

But Gareth explained in some circumstances, police can offer the option of attending a speed awareness course - an alternative to a fine and penalty points. Gareth, said: "An accredited course is far more likely to improve driver behaviour and consequently make our roads safer.

"Courses are available to drivers who respond quickly to the 'notices' and who were driving at no more than 10 per cent, plus 9 mph above the posted speed limit."

So for example, anyone travelling over 86mph on a motorway would not be offered the awareness course. Those who don't have a clean licence at the time of the office, or if you have been on the course in the last three years, it is unlikely you will be offered the awareness course as an option.