DIY speed cameras for safer streets

There’s nothing new about people resorting to guerrilla tactics to tackle dangerous driving – people have even disguised bird boxes as speed cameras, but James Thom has gone a step further with his AI-powered DIY speed camera.

James’s code turns any webcam or camera phone into a virtual speed camera. It overlays the current speed so you can see which vehicles are speeding in real time. you can watch it in action here.

The results of the community speed survey using this software was used to successfully persuade the council to install traffic calming measures on the road.

I want my own speed camera, but can’t write code…

If you like the idea of using speed camera data to lobby your local council about traffic calming measures , but don’t have the programming skills to build your own system like James did, help is at hand in the form of the Android Speedcam Anywhere app.

Speedcam Anywhere uses video from your phone to calculate the speed of a vehicle as well as its location. It generates a link which can be uploaded to police dashcam websites or used to campaign for traffic calming measures.

Point and click: The app automatically calculates the speed of the vehicle you’re filming

The app has not yet been Type Approved by the Home Office, so cannot issue speeding tickets, but evidence from the app can be presented to police forces so they can issue Anti-Social Driving Orders for Section 59 offences, where inconsiderate driving causes alarm and distress.

Rod King MBE, founder and campaign director of 20’s Plenty for Us, has described the system as a game changer: “Speedcam Anywhere bypasses the current resource bottlenecks associated with enforcement. We have police forces that desperately want to reduce road offences and speeding offences, but many will only prioritise minimal resources to the task.”

speedcam anywhere app

It  is hoped the app will act as a deterrent because any of the people you drive past could be filming and reporting your speed – very different from drivers feeling they only have to comply with the law when approaching a speed camera or when someone in a hi-vis jacket at the side of the road is pointing a speed gun at them.

The app is available to download from or the Google Play Store.

The ethical choice

The ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green, reliable travel services. Over 30 years on, we continue to offer cycle insurance , breakdown cover  and mobility scooter insurance while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.

The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be the UK’s most ethical provider.


  1. Doug M


    I tried to find this app on my Android 8 Samsung mobile. Google Play only offered me speedcam detectors. I then accessed it on my desktop PC, where of course it could not work, and typed the full web address from there into my mobile. My mobile then said that my device isn’t compatible with this version. It also showed reviews which indicate that this is a chargeable app, with “only 28 free credits”. It also said that “In-app purchases cost £4.99 to £14.99 per item”. The 270 reviews had an average rating of 1.3 out of 5. A shame that your article did not tell the whole story!

  2. Andy McNab


    As if the people aren’t oppressed enough, but you’ve got losers like this designing or using speed camera apps. The effort Doug has gone to to download this app is unbelievable, he even resents the £4.99 fee. This is what the UK has become.

    • The ETA


      What about the oppression caused by motorised traffic?

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Your name and email are required.