Drivers who spot hidden speed cameras will be able to alert other vehicles within three seconds with the help of a dashboard gadget. They will no longer need to flash their headlights to oncoming drivers but will simply press a button on a satellite-positioning device.
The device transmits the location of the speedtrap to a processing centre. The information is relayed to other drivers who have installed the same equipment. A car travelling 300 yards behind the driver who first spots the trap would receive the warning in time to slow down before the camera.
The device is made by a company called Novus and is known as the mini coyote. More than 50,000 drivers in France already have the new device. Police forces in the UK sometimes give warnings that drivers could be prosecuted for perverting the course of justice if they alert other drivers to speed traps but there have been few successful prosecutions.
The device emits an audible alarm and a colour-coded warning telling the driver how frequently the speed trap has been reported. It also displays the car’s speed, the speed limit and the distance to the camera.
The Government has said it intends to outlaw devices that detect radar or laser systems used by speed cameras.