Installing speed and red light camera alerts on your Garmin Nuvi

School zone, speed and red light camera alerts are now de rigueur on portable GPS navigators. While Garmin's Nuvi range has an excellent alerting system, you need to be the Howard Carter of the internet to find them. We show you how, although we make no guarantees about avoiding Tutankhamun's curse.

School zone, speed and red light camera alerts are now de rigueur on portable GPS navigators. While Garmin's Nuvi range has an excellent alerting system, you need to be the Howard Carter of the internet to find them. We show you how, although we make no guarantees about avoiding Tutankhamun's curse.

(Speed Aware image by Chris Chidsey, Royalty Free)

As we discovered when we reviewed the Nuvi 260W and 760, Garmin has a very good safety camera warning system, which will alert you to upcoming red light and speed cameras, as well as school zones. There's a unique voice warning for each camera or zone type, a nice step up from the generic chime and visual warning offered on GPS devices from other makers.

Unfortunately, these warnings don't come preloaded on any current Garmin Nuvi units — a careless oversight considering the brand is being marketed on its ease of use. To get these warnings you'll have to go to Garmin's website, find the special Points of Interest (POI) files and install them on your device. These files don't exactly fall out of the sky and into your lap, so we've prepared this quick step-by-step guide for you.

  1. Go to Garmin's Custom POI Downloads page.
    Note: If you have problems accessing the above link directly or get a "Page Not Found – 404" error try the following steps instead. Go to the Garmin Australia website, select Australia from the "Select Your Country" drop down box, click "On the Road", scroll down and then click on "Custom POI Downloads".
  2. Download the POI files for speed cameras, red light cameras and school zones
  3. Unzip the .gpi files from each of those zip files
  4. Connect your Garmin to your PC or Mac via USB
  5. Go to your Garmin device, then to the "Garmin" folder. If you see a folder named "POI" go to the next step, otherwise create said directory
  6. Copy all the .gpi files that you've downloaded and extracted into the Garmin's "POI" directory
  7. Disconnect your Garmin from your computer and — voila! — warnings for school zones, as well as speed and red light cameras.
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