MOTORIST BEATS SPEEDING FINE ON TEMPORARY ROADWORKS
The background to this case is that a motorist was on his way to work on the M5 and was allegedly caught speeding through temporary roadworks. He was adamant that he wasn’t speeding as he had his car set on cruise control, given that he has penalty points on his licence for previous offences and relies on his car for work.
Motorists are finding inspiration in fighting alleged traffic violations and taking a leaf out of high profile celebrity cases, which I spoke about here.
The offence was recorded as occurring at 06:47 on Saturday the 31/08/2019 between junctions 12 and 13 of the M5. It was alleged that he was doing 57 in a 50 (temporary speed limit) through roadworks. The offence is alleged to have been captured by fixed cameras that measure distance over time. He remembers the journey well as he had just left home to go on holiday with friends to Weymouth and had joined the motorway at junction 12.
What incensed him is that he always makes a point of religiously sticking to the speed limit through roadworks by setting his speed limiter as he enters the roadworks to ensure that he cannot subconsciously speed up and exceed the limit. If he puts his foot down, the car will get to the set limit and will not go any faster unless he overrides it. In this case he set the speed limiter to 53 as he always does and remembers cancelling it as he exited the roadworks as he approached junction 13. He also has a Garmin dashcam that records his speed and location but given the amount of time and distance travelled in the past 10 days, the data had been overwritten.
Temporary roadworks and signage must be approved by the local authorities to a specific criteria and you are well within your rights to ask for proof. Illegal signs = illegal fines. The signage has to be legal and correct. The key is to question the legality and cast reasonable doubt on the alleged offence to win your case. Nobody does anything properly on this so the odds are in your favour if you can put a case together to do just that.
He bought my book and followed my advice to find out the specific criteria and if it had been approved by the local authorities. In the meantime, he lodged an appeal and requested for all of the evidence to be tipped over. This gave him an opportunity to work his way through it and find various errors and omissions that will make their case fail.
The Temporary Restriction Order (‘TRO’) from Highways England arrived and it transpired that the TRO should only be in force from 20:00 for 10 hours per day. This meant that the restrictions expired at 06:00 each morning and the time of the alleged offence was 06:47, which is 47 minutes after “the works period” had expired. As a result, he is not guilty of the alleged offence.
Local authorities rarely do anything by the book and consumers are unaware of what to look for. That is the reason why I published this book to raise awareness of your consumer rights with templates and advice that is tried and tested and works every time.