We were recently approached to provide legal advice in a speeding case where our client was accused of driving at 53 mph in a 30 mph zone. This incident occurred on the B683 in Papplewick, Nottinghamshire. Our client received a Single Justice Notice from Nottinghamshire Police and promptly sought assistance from our expert motoring solicitor, Lucy Whitaker.

Defective Speed Sign In Nottingham

As part of our thorough consultation process, we carefully examined the location using Google Maps and identified a possible defect with the signage. Despite the road being subject to a 30 mph limit for several years, the signage at the entrance suggested a national speed limit was in effect. On a single carriageway road, this would typically imply a limit of 60 mph rather than 30 mph. The misleading signs turned out to be faded ‘end of goods vehicle restriction’ signs, where the goods vehicle depicted in the background had significantly faded over time. This resulted in the signs resembling national speed limit indicators.

There were no 30 mph signs to correct this confusion. However, lampposts were present at regular intervals, which generally indicate a restricted road with a 30 mph limit, unless specified otherwise by additional signs. Given the relatively rural nature of the area, a speed limit of 60 mph would not be incongruous.

Under Section 85 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, it is crucial that signs not only exist but also be erected and maintained in a manner that offers clear guidance to motorists about the applicable speed limit. Taking this into account, we presented compelling arguments to the police, highlighting that the signs had been neglected by Nottinghamshire County Council. Consequently, it would have been unfair to prosecute motorists for exceeding the speed limit in such circumstances.

To their credit, the police acknowledged the misleading nature of the signs and deemed it inappropriate to proceed with the prosecution. Consequently, the speeding charge was withdrawn, bringing immense relief to our client.

Faulty Speed Sign

According to the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines, driving at 53 mph in a 30 mph limit usually leads to a disqualification of 7 to 56 days or 6 penalty points. Additionally, upon conviction, the offender may face a fine relative to their income, with maximum fines of £2,500 on motorways and £1,000 on other roads, or on motorways subject to temporary speed limits. It is important to note that temporary speed limits do not include variable speed limits, such as those found on Smart Motorways.

If you are caught speeding, you may be offered a speed awareness course. If your speed is too high or you have completed a similar course within the last 3 years, you will not be eligible. You may be offered a fixed penalty or the matter may proceed to court.

Single Justice Procedure Notices signify the commencement of court proceedings. The court will decide whether to impose points or to disqualify you. This may be done in writing or, you may have to attend court at a later date. It is important you understand the process and are able to present your case to the court in a clear and persuasive way. We can help respond to your Single Justice Procedure Notice to give you the best chance of success.

If you have recently received a Single Justice Notice for a speeding offence and require legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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