Earlier this week here at Motoring Offence Lawyers we were notified of an issue that could affect many speeding prosecutions detected by fixed cameras on the variable speed limits between the M42/M6 toll road.
Our understanding is that all speeding prosecutions on the variable speed limits have been suspended whilst the police investigate these issues and a decision as to whether to proceed with them is to be taken shortly. This could have wide ranging implications for anyone who is facing prosecution for alleged offences on these roads which are some of the most widely used in the country. It may also result in convictions which have already been through the system being revisited.
There is a section of the M6 and M42 which has variable speed limits which means that the Highways Authority has the power to change the speed limit intermittently from 70mph down to 60mph, 50mph and 40mph depending on the time of day and road conditions. However, as with any speed limit there is a requirement for speed limit signs to be placed at regular intervals and to be visible at all times (an exception to this general requirement is a 30mph limit which has a system of street lighting in place). We understand that the issue currently being investigated may relate to the dimensions of the font on the signs which may not be of the prescribed size.
Often we hear from people who assume that a summons for speeding is an open and shut case because it is an official looking document and all may seem in order. However, it is quite common for an issue to be identified that is not adequately covered by the evidence served and speed limit signage is a prime example of this. If the prosecution cannot prove the signs were present and visible this will normally result in a case being dismissed by the Magistrates’ Court.
We are always interested to hear from anyone who believes they may have been wrongly prosecuted on the M42 or any other road. You can call us on 0800 4334 678 or 0161 241 3322 at any time.