Police Scotland introduce safety camera motorcycle

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Scottish police have a new weapon in their arsenal to tackle speeding motorists.

This safety camera motorcycle has all of the functionality of a full-sized van equivalent, but in a scaled down package.

Its smaller size means that the bike can park up where the van may have been too large or unable to before, meaning that riders and drivers will need to be extra vigilant when riding in Scotland.

The BMW R1200RT SE has proved to be the perfect machine for the job, providing all the space needed for the equipment. The camera and tripod are stored in the panniers and the top-box houses the main computer. Also, housed within the panniers are the power unit, which draws from the bike and the ancillaries required for the camera’s function.


Police Scotland’s motorcycle Inspector Ian Paul said: “The introduction of the safety camera motorcycle provides us with a very flexible and compact resource which can be used on stretches of our roads where safety camera vans or uniformed officers could not previously be deployed.”

The system uses a LTI 20.20 Ultralyte laser speed detection device, a Traffic Display Control Unit, integrated video camera, and professional zoom lens.

The camera can spin on the tripod making it effective to point at traffic travelling in either direction too. 

It isn’t specifically targeted at motorcyclists though and is used more specifically to help control speeding on roads in Scotland that have disproportionately high incident statistics. When talking to Safety Camera Scotland, MCN were informed that the bulk of recorded offences were in fact committed by car drivers.

The bike can be used by three of Scotland’s safety camera units, with roads such as the A84 and A85 being mentioned as popular routes for the machine.

Ian further commented: “This is a highly visible resource and while enforcement is part of our agenda, our primary role and that of the camera motorcycle is to influence driver and road user behavior. The routes being patrolled have a high injury collision rate and a disproportionately high motorcycle rider casualty rate, though I must stress that our motorcycle is not out there to specifically target motorcyclists, it’s there to monitor the speed of all vehicles.”

Police Scotland were keen to stress that they aren’t out to stop anybody enjoying the roads but are acting as a visible deterrent to encourage driver and riders to make responsible use of the roads. 

The camera bike will operate all year round and is also joined by an unmarked motorcycle that will patrol Scotland in a bid to cut down on unlawful motoring activity.

For more details on camera locations, check out the Safety Cameras Scotland website or see the @safetycamscot twitter page for more regular location updates.

Looking for the perfect two-wheeled companion? Visit MCN Bikes For Sale website or use MCN’s Bikes For Sale App.

James Archibald

By James Archibald

Former MCN Junior Web Producer