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Driving: How do automatic speed camera checks work in Norway

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Driving: How do automatic speed camera checks work in Norway
Norway employs automated speed control to decrease the frequency of speed limit violations in the areas being monitored. Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash

If you have spent any time at all driving on Norwegian roads, you'll know that the country has a well-established network of automatic speed cameras throughout the country.


Each year, there is a number of campaigns promoting traffic safety on Norwegian roads. These educational measures are supposed to complement other regulatory efforts in curbing the number of road accidents.

One of the important systems in place to reduce severe injuries and fatalities on Norwegian roads is the country's automatic speed control (ASC) program- which uses cameras.

As is the case in many other – but not all – European countries, Norway uses automatic speed monitoring using cameras on top of routine manual police speed checks.


The two types of automatic speed control in Norway

As Norwegian road traffic authorities point out on their website, automatic speed checks has a notable impact on traffic safety - it reduces the number of speeding violations at the location being monitored, especially regarding high-speed offences.

There are two types of automatic speed checks that you need to be aware of: section speed control and spot speed control.

The first one, section speed control, entails two speed cameras placed along a section of the road with a single speed limit. These two cameras are in communication with each other, and the distance between the cameras is divided by the time taken for the vehicle to travel from one to the other.

If you see a flashing red light, know that your vehicle has been photographed. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that you were speeding.

If a vehicle is found to be speeding, a yellow light will flash 50 meters after the second camera, and the information on the speeding instance will be sent to the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

The authorities will then verify whether both cameras photographed the same vehicle before forwarding the case to the Norwegian police.

Note that the first speed camera captures images of all vehicles that pass by and records information like the time of passing, license plate number, weight, and wheelbase. The relevant information is then transmitted to the second speed camera.

As the Public Roads Administration explains, the second speed camera creates a list of vehicles that have passed by the first speed camera, and when those vehicles reach the second camera, their speed is calculated based on the data that was previously recorded.

The second ASC type, spot automatic speed control, refers to a type of speed camera that measures a vehicle's speed at a particular location or spot (hence, the name).

The road at this specific site has pressure-sensitive sensors in each lane that send out a signal when a vehicle axle passes over them. A speed meter then calculates the speed of each axle based on these signals and sends the data to the camera equipment.

The speed meter is certified and checked annually by the competent authorities, and the camera can only take photos with a valid certification.

If the speed of the first axle exceeds a predetermined limit (known as the photo limit), the camera takes a photograph, which is then manually checked by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and forwarded to the police.

For spot-speed control, a photo zone is marked on the road using two white lines.

The camera itself is housed within the speed camera box. It comprises a digital camera, a flash lamp, and a computer.


And if you are caught speeding by an ASC camera?

If you have been photographed by a speed control camera and want to get in touch with the authorities to clarify the situation, contact the switchboard for the police centre for automatic speed control at +47 26 68 00.

If you're calling from a Norwegian phone, you can also reach the police at 02800. If you're calling from a foreign number, try +47 22 66 90 50.

READ MORE: What happens if you get caught speeding in Norway?

In any case, if you have been caught speeding by the ASC system, expect to receive a letter in the mail from the police, which will usually contain a conditional offer of a "fixed penalty" and a form that you can fill out.

A fixed penalty allows you to settle a road traffic offence in a simplified way and is voluntary. If you refuse to accept the penalty, the case will be prosecuted as an ordinary criminal case.

Accepting a fixed penalty does not imply any confession or acknowledgement of guilt, and an accepted penalty will not be registered in the Central Fines Database.

The deadline for accepting the penalty offer is seven days from receipt of the notice. You can accept the fixed penalty by signing this acceptance form and returning it by post within this time limit.

If you refuse to accept the offer, you must specify the reasons why within the same deadline.


Case example

For example, if you're caught driving at a speed of 89 km/h in an 80 km/h zone, expect to get an offer to pay a fee of 2300 kroner or spend three days in prison.

Note that an accepted fixed penalty has the same effect as a legally enforceable judgement.

By accepting the penalty, you give up your right to a trial and to have the penalty determined in court.

Any penalty points will be registered in the Norwegian Driving License Database.


Paying the fine

After returning the accepted Fixed Penalty form to the police, you will receive an invoice from the Norwegian National Collection Agency (NCA).

Detailed information on making the payment, paying in instalments and postponing payments is available on the NCA website. You'll also be able to find it on the invoice that you will receive from the NCA.


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