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M3 variable flash, road under commissioning enforceable?
ConceredDriver8
post Wed, 31 Jan 2018 - 23:52
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Hi everyone,

Probably myself and a whole host of others were flashed by a variable camera between J3-4 on the M3 Sunday entering a 50 variable limit, the whole gantry was lit like a firework. I was doing easy just under true 70. I'm a bit concerned, since I've got 3 points already on my license, and the 'new driver' law still applies to me for 3 more months. As with most people, I very much depend on driving for work, I'm ironically an apprentice for a infrastructure design consultancy.

I've seen a few posts where people have received NIPs doing over the NSL between J3-4, it seems to have the only active cameras, but has anyone heard of an NIP received yet from a variable limit?

I don't know if it's a valid arguement, but I have a bit of a hypothesis and I don't know if anyone here has any more knowledge that might have an opinion on my thinking? When a highway scheme is carried out the designer has to obtain an approval in principle of the design in relation to the standards it's being designed to, in the case of the M3 probably 'the traffic signs regulations and general directions' and 'the design manual for roads and bridges' as key ones. The content of these documents are fairly legislative of the requirements to make a highway geometrically safe and importantly enforceable. Once the highway authority adopting the finished scheme is satisfied that the design is compliant generally construction is able to commence. During construction various factors can change the design, for instance an unknown pipe could mean the contractor cant place a sign where it's supposed to be and relocates it further to the side of the road than designed, a decision like that can make a scheme partially un-compliant with legislation and anything the sign relates to unenforceable. So when a scheme is complete the highway authority has to review the completed product in comparison to the design they approved in principle. A little birdy tells me the designer is still completing 'as built drawings' to be given to highways england and judging the amount of night time closures adjustments are still being made! So whilst a national speed limit is obviously enforceable being the maximum speed limit in the U.K. I'm suspicious there's no paper document of yet confirming the entire scheme is constructed to standard from the body required to sign off the works (highways England) since they don't have full information of the as built state yet, and therefore it can't be verified if variable limits are enforceable with the current layout. So what do you think? Will I get an NIP from that variable camera flashing me, and if so do I have a valid argument?

For reference: The standards set out for technical approvals of highway structures can be found here, highway design has to follow the same principles. Large signs will also be classed as structures. http://www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/ha/s...tion1/bd212.pdf
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post Wed, 31 Jan 2018 - 23:52
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peterguk
post Wed, 31 Jan 2018 - 23:59
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Traffic Regulation Order sets the limits.

In your case if 50mph was displayed, then 50mph is the limit.

As for whether there is a NIP on its way, the RK will have to wait 14 days to be sure.


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ConceredDriver8
post Thu, 1 Feb 2018 - 00:15
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Please correct me again if I'm wrong, I thought the traffic regulation order is more for temporary works and still requires a review to ensure any signage / geometry complies with legislation to ensure its enforceable ?
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southpaw82
post Thu, 1 Feb 2018 - 00:34
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What does geometry have to do with it?


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Logician
post Thu, 1 Feb 2018 - 00:50
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This authorised by an SI I think, although you were before J3 and J4, there should be something similar to this The M3 Motorway (Junctions 2 to 4a) (Variable Speed Limits) Regulations 2015

Usually when cameras are installed but not yet operational there is a sign "Camera not in use" If there was no such sign and no sign of testing going on, I would guess the cameras are operational.



This post has been edited by Logician: Thu, 1 Feb 2018 - 00:53


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mazzer
post Thu, 1 Feb 2018 - 10:04
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I think the OP is grasping at straws.

The M3 cameras have been installed and working for several months now and they gave plenty of warning flashes in the early days. Granted, that won't help anyone new to the area, but there has been plenty of publicity regarding SMART motorways and speed cameras in general and the bottom line is that when there's a VSL, respect the limit as the cameras will enforce it.

By all means research it and let us know if you find anything wrong with the implementation, but if it were me I wouldn't waste too much time on it.
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