A motorist wins a landmark speeding case over signs obscured by a hedge back in 2006 is worth a read.

I used this case as the basis to quash a similar scenario I found myself in a year later when I was allegedly caught doing 47mph in a 30mph zone.


Mr Coombes’ case went all the way to the High Court judges in London who ruled that, because of an obscured sign, he had not had sufficient warning that he was passing from a 40mph zone into a 30mph stretch.

Mr Coombes said he had been driving home in bright sunshine and the overgrown hedges at the side of the road meant he did not see any roadside signs. Haze from the sunlight also meant he did not see two 30mph roundels painted on the road’s surface.

He was aware of going over rumble strips but thought they were a warning of a bend in the road ahead.


A legal precedent was set stating that if a sign is obscured, it cannot be said the road was adequately signed. Therefore you cannot be found guilty of a speeding offence under the 1984 Road Traffic Act.

It doesn’t matter if you have local knowledge of the area or not, and the local authorities have a statutory obligation to ensure that signs are clearly visible and comply with the Road Traffic Act.

The Road Traffic Act cuts both ways and local authorities can’t have it all ways. Motorists are finding inspiration from high profile celebrity cases involving Mr Loophole, with bus lane fines being overturned based on the fact that they are obscured, cluttered and confusing.

One motorist literally took a leaf out of my book to beat a speeding fine on temporary roadworks.

Have you cancelled a speeding ticket in this way? Would you consider doing so even if you were (allegedly) in the wrong?

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