That became the secondary flash, allowing the police to measure the car’s distance on road markings half a second after the first one.
“When you put a camera in, the number of speeders always reduces.
“They recognised it was controversial, so they went for belt and braces,” says ex-policeman Roger Reynolds, who led the development.
He went on to oversee a network of 750 cameras around London.
” Prosecution numbers track the gatso’s journey from safety device to “scamera” in the eyes of many drivers.
Reynolds says motorists often challenged the technology in court in the early days and he was frequently called as an expert witness.
One of the most persuasive took place in west London at 21 sites in 1997.
In 2007 the funding for speed cameras changed, with local authorities given a fixed road-safety grant with more freedom to allocate it.
“The whole point was to remind people about speed, not to catch them,” he says.
According to Reynolds, it meant £1,000 for a camera vs £10,000.
Dubbed the Mad Mullah of the Traffic Taliban by tabloids, Brunstrom waged what he called a “personal crusade” on speeders between 2001-2009.
According to Reynolds, the camera’s downfall started in 2000 when the so-called “netting off” system allowed local authorities to receive a percentage of revenue from their cameras.