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Assuming 30 speed limit after a junction
catrisit
post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 12:05
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my OH recently received a speeding ticket dated 1st of January

after inspecting the site a second time together we found unclear signage leading up to the fixed camera in a 20mph zone

we want to dispute the charge on the grounds of insufficient signage and because she had exited a junction on to the main road which she then reasonably assumed was a 30mph zone

so, what we need to know is;
what is the legal standing?
is it reasonable to assume a 30mph speed limit when exiting a side road of an estate?
or should one assume a continuation of the 20mph speed limit?

my OH assumed the speed limit was 30 as there were no clear indicators or signs to say otherwise (you can see from the image attatched the '20' in the road had been partly tarmac'd over and NO signs were between the junction she left and the fixed camera. -
Attached Image


also, the next junction on the right after she turned right had 20 signs at the end, indicating (to my mind) that this road was a different speed limit...

doesn't one assume a 30mph speed limit when driving on main road with no signage? even if the side road before had been a 20?

thanks in advance for any help
Ember
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post Sat, 3 Feb 2018 - 12:05
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notmeatloaf
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 09:51
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FWIW I actually think you have a fairly strong case, with the patched roundel immediately before the camera probably the crucial part. It is quite normal for a careful and competent driver to want to double check the limit at a speed camera (as they should indicate accident black spots). The road marking is obviously intended to support this, and should be properly maintained. In it's current state it creates unnecessary uncertainty.

However, much will depend on how confident your wife will be speaking in court, as they will inevitably want to ask questions and she needs to stick to the adequate guidance line, not start saying limits should change at junctions.

It is important you accept advice from both sides here as this is not a certainty, your wife will have to convince the court on something that could go either way. The best outcome if you do go down that route is if the CPS decide to drop it due to the defective road markings, which is a fair possibility.

I would say it is important to refilm the journey using a normal lens before the marking is repaired, as the fisheye distorts the sides of the road which is (apart from the marking) the crucial part here. Try and borrow (or buy, £30 in Aldi) a dashcam as this will give a more convincing "drivers view".

The caveat to all of the above is it is easy to say "fight" when it is not your money and wife in the firing line. If your wife wouldn't feel confident speaking in court (although magistrates tend to go out of their way to be gentle with new witnesses, the CPS may be less so) £100 now may be a more pragmatic option.

This post has been edited by notmeatloaf: Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 09:53
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catrisit
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 11:01
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 07:08) *
If you turn your phone through 90 degrees most phones take a landscape picture just fine, if you just hold it upright like so many YouTube numpties it stays in portrait, they are smart phones but not bright enough to know when you should use Landscape.

Repeaters are needed but not every 50m, in fact in 20mph zones the traffic calming should be circa every 100m, so circa 100m is the shortest which would generate any form of a defence at all.

How far is it from the road junction to the camera?


actually i intended to show the whole of the road ahead so portrait was the most suitable option for this shot as far as i was concerned.

as the following commenter correctly says; the distance from junction to camera is 230m.

QUOTE (Jlc @ Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 09:14) *
Now this is the situation - there's no killer point identified so far to significantly increase the chances at court. As the bench will have to decide subjectively whether the limit was reasonably conveyed and they can consider those upside down roundels. But if a court defence is attempted it's about the presentation. Like I said earlier if the (false) assertion that turning at the junction somehow nulls the 20mph then I would suggest they'll convict.

Might be worth checking the TRO but I would be surprised if there was anything that assists.

We can't say whether it's worth taking to court or not - unfortunately, there is the risk of a large costs bill which makes these harder to challenge. At least you know the parameters before deciding.


thank you. i appreciate the fair evaluation. 'checking the TRO'? sorry, what's this please?

basically the possible defence is regarding the 230m between junction and camera not having clear/adequate signage?
what about the differing character of Lansdown Ln to Leighton Rd? is this worth consideration?
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notmeatloaf
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 11:10
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QUOTE (catrisit @ Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 11:01) *
thank you. i appreciate the fair evaluation. 'checking the TRO'? sorry, what's this please?

basically the possible defence is regarding the 230m between junction and camera not having clear/adequate signage?
what about the differing character of Lansdown Ln to Leighton Rd? is this worth consideration?

To create the 20mph limit the council would have to create a Traffic Regulation Order. These are public documents so you can ask the council to send you it, normally they will by email. In the past when they were rarer councils sometimes messed them up but they are a bit more on the ball now. Worth a check for the sake of an email.

Without sounding like a broken record you need to focus like a laser beam adequate guidance, and that the entire journey did not adequately convey to a careful and competent driver the 20mph speed limit. It is worth your wife being honest with this, talking through the journey and saying what she was thinking at the time. The idea being she will give the impression that she is a good driver and was genuinely unaware she was breaking the limit. If a good driver is genuinely unaware than it follows that there is not adequate guidance.

Magistrates are generally drivers too and you want them to think "this could happen to me". If your wife can do that she will almost certainly be found not guilty.
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Logician
post Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 11:24
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QUOTE (catrisit @ Sun, 4 Feb 2018 - 01:50) *
what road was after the camera?


You originally said "also, the next junction on the right after she turned right had 20 signs at the end, indicating (to my mind) that this road was a different speed limit..." Which is a good point, it does tend to imply that, but in fact it is the second junction on the right which shows those 20 signs, and we now see from the video where the camera was, 200 metres from the junction, so those 20 signs do not help her case as she would have come to the camera before passing the signs.



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Mayhem007
post Wed, 7 Feb 2018 - 11:03
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The second junction on the right showing 20mph does this not create the confusion that you may not be on a road that is limited to 20mph.. If that second junction did not have the 20mph limited signage and another reasonable person who was on the main road turned into that 2nd junction, wouldn't he have to assume that it was 20 mph limit.


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Logician
post Wed, 7 Feb 2018 - 14:30
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QUOTE (Mayhem007 @ Wed, 7 Feb 2018 - 11:03) *
The second junction on the right showing 20mph does this not create the confusion that you may not be on a road that is limited to 20mph.. If that second junction did not have the 20mph limited signage and another reasonable person who was on the main road turned into that 2nd junction, wouldn't he have to assume that it was 20 mph limit.


Yes, it does create that confusion, but it is not relevant because the driver turned out of a road and came to the camera before seeing those signs.



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Jlc
post Wed, 7 Feb 2018 - 15:25
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QUOTE (Logician @ Wed, 7 Feb 2018 - 14:30) *
QUOTE (Mayhem007 @ Wed, 7 Feb 2018 - 11:03) *
The second junction on the right showing 20mph does this not create the confusion that you may not be on a road that is limited to 20mph.. If that second junction did not have the 20mph limited signage and another reasonable person who was on the main road turned into that 2nd junction, wouldn't he have to assume that it was 20 mph limit.


Yes, it does create that confusion, but it is not relevant because the driver turned out of a road and came to the camera before seeing those signs.

Indeed, they are positioned like terminal signs but look like repeater size.


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The Slithy Tove
post Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 08:15
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Most likely hypothetical, but if the driver of the car FROM Duncan Gardens had been a different person than the one going TO Duncan Gardens, then that second driver would not necessarily know they were in a 20 zone, as there are no repeaters from the start of that (leg of the) journey to the camera site, and there's no reason why they should have been paying attention on the way there. Same if it was the same driver, unfamiliar with the area, but had stopped for a couple hours, and don't really remember what the limit was. For that reason, it really should be better signed. Could not passing a repeater for in excess of 5 minutes (regardless of distance, though that is increased due to the detour to Duncan Gardens) count in favour?

Obviously this "excuse" could only be used if it were true, else the penalties will be far worse.
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cp8759
post Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 09:31
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QUOTE (The Slithy Tove @ Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 08:15) *
Obviously this "excuse" could only be used if it were true, else the penalties will be far worse.

Well that's debatable, I recall there was a case a few years ago where the High Court ruled that the knowledge of the driver was irrelevant, and for the offence to be committed the necessary signs had to be present.


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Logician
post Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 12:55
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QUOTE (The Slithy Tove @ Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 08:15) *
Most likely hypothetical, but if the driver of the car FROM Duncan Gardens had been a different person than the one going TO Duncan Gardens, then that second driver would not necessarily know they were in a 20 zone, as there are no repeaters from the start of that (leg of the) journey to the camera site, and there's no reason why they should have been paying attention on the way there. Same if it was the same driver, unfamiliar with the area, but had stopped for a couple hours, and don't really remember what the limit was. For that reason, it really should be better signed. Could not passing a repeater for in excess of 5 minutes (regardless of distance, though that is increased due to the detour to Duncan Gardens) count in favour? Obviously this "excuse" could only be used if it were true, else the penalties will be far worse.


Very hypothetical, because a) the driver was the same, although apparently she had no idea she had already come up Leighton Road in the other direction, or that she was returning to Landsdowne Lane b) not shown on the 2012 GSV but visible on the video, there was a 20 repeater sign in Leighton Road, and a 20 road marking on the other side of the road where Leighton Road comes off Landsdowne Lane, as well as the partly obscured 20 road marking in Landsdowne Lane itself, and c) she did not stop for a couple of hours, she stopped for 5 minutes.

I do not say the signage is very good, but I do not think it is poor enough to provide an confident defence. Considering the level of fine and costs if she loses, compared to the possibility of a course or fixed penalty, I think she would be ill-advised to go to court.



QUOTE (cp8759 @ Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 09:31) *
QUOTE (The Slithy Tove @ Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 08:15) *
Obviously this "excuse" could only be used if it were true, else the penalties will be far worse.
Well that's debatable, I recall there was a case a few years ago where the High Court ruled that the knowledge of the driver was irrelevant, and for the offence to be committed the necessary signs had to be present.


Yes, that is the Coombes case. It was accepted by the defence in that case that the issue of whether the signs were adequate had to be approached from the point of view of a reasonable motorist. I question whether a reasonable motorist would fail to realise that she was returning along the same road she had been on 5 minutes earlier, or not realise she was re-joining a road she had left.



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cp8759
post Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 16:30
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QUOTE (Logician @ Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 12:55) *
I question whether a reasonable motorist would fail to realise that she was returning along the same road she had been on 5 minutes earlier, or not realise she was re-joining a road she had left.

I'm not sure the issue of having driven down that road she had driven down 5 minutes earlier is relevant. What if a reasonable motorist had driven to the same house, but not left it for an extended period, say 2-3 days or more (Maybe cos they're a recluse, or unwell). It cannot be the case that guilt or innocence is dependant on how long has passed since the driver drove down the road, on a previous journey, in the opposite direction (because where would you drawn the line?), that would be far too arbitrary. The question to look at is whether, from the start of the relevant journey, the OP's wife received reasonable guidance from the signs as to what the limit was. Unfortunately I think the signs were clear enough, if only just.

The video shows two repeater signs were passed before the camera, and no terminal signs were encountered to suggest the 20 limit had ended. The distance from the last repeater to the camera was not significant (certainly not so significant that a careful and competent driver could claim to have forgotten the speed limit for the road), so I would recommend taking a speed awareness course or paying the fixed penalty notice.


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Logician
post Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 16:49
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I think the point is that the driver in this case had a continuous journey, although stopping briefly to pick up a passenger, and I contrast that The Slithy Tove's example of stopping for a couple of hours or your yours in stopping for a couple of days. If she had pulled in to the side of the road to pick up her passenger and then carried on, no one would suggest that there were two separate journeys, and she could not be expected to carry over knowledge of the speed limit from one to another, and I do not see that turning off the road and then returning to it is vastly different. Anyway, we agree on the conclusion that what must be the gamble of taking it to court is not worthwhile.


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notmeatloaf
post Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 19:07
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I think perhaps S85 helps the OP though in that it specifically mentions that streetlit roads with an absence of signage indicating it is not a 30mph limit should be regarded as a 30mph limit.

That to my mind indicates parliament has recognised that streetlit restricted roads are a special case because the absence of signs is confirmation of the 30mph limit. Obviously the legislation was written before widespread use of 20mph limits but it would, to me, indicate a higher standard of signage is needed because a driver should be thinking "This appears to be 30mph unless I see signage to the contrary" rather than "I don't know what the limit is so I will be extra cautious until I see confirmation".

The OP is not in the situation of "I guessed a limit out of thin air". In perhaps 99% of cases they would be correctly assuming the limit because of lack of evidence to the contrary.
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cp8759
post Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 23:15
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Thu, 8 Feb 2018 - 19:07) *
I think perhaps S85 helps the OP though in that it specifically mentions that streetlit roads with an absence of signage indicating it is not a 30mph limit should be regarded as a 30mph limit.

That to my mind indicates parliament has recognised that streetlit restricted roads are a special case because the absence of signs is confirmation of the 30mph limit. Obviously the legislation was written before widespread use of 20mph limits but it would, to me, indicate a higher standard of signage is needed because a driver should be thinking "This appears to be 30mph unless I see signage to the contrary" rather than "I don't know what the limit is so I will be extra cautious until I see confirmation".

The OP is not in the situation of "I guessed a limit out of thin air". In perhaps 99% of cases they would be correctly assuming the limit because of lack of evidence to the contrary.

The only problem I have is that, from the video of the journey, a 20mph repeater sign is passed at 1:19, the dragon teeth are encountered at 2:13, i.e. 54 seconds later, and there is nothing to indicate that the last indicated limit has come to an end. I'm not saying it's a hopeless case, I'm just saying I wouldn't risk it. But if the OP's wife want to press ahead as a matter of principle, and she can afford to lose, then good luck to her.


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mashman36
post Fri, 9 Feb 2018 - 13:36
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ASSUME = ASS U ME

Without proof !

Probably one of the most dangerous words in the dictionary other than presume.

Its a cold day in hell when any of us at some time haven't been bitten on the arse using these words ;they are both band from being used in my office or by my engineers or they will learn the context of wraith!
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