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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 64344
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi I was caught speeding by a camera system in a 30mph

Customer Question

Hi

I was caught speeding by a camera system in a 30mph zone doing 35mph. I am at the stage where they are requesting drivers details which naturally i shall be providing.

However this was a brand new camera at a set of lights on a dual carriageway and having been driving there on a few occasions recently I was surprised to have been caught at that speed and by any camera at all.

I do not believe there was adequate notices of the new speed camera at the time or adequate notice of the speed requirements for this particular section of the road now that a new speed camera had been installed.

It seems like this is a really harsh speed trap as it is not clear what benefit it has to other road users or pedestrians as its on a Dual carriageway.

What can i do or say to help avoid this going any further? I believe it to wholly unreasonable and unfair.

Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Jomo1972 :

Hi Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Jomo1972 :

I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you. However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.

Jomo1972 :

I'm afraid there is no defence in the comments that you make.

Jomo1972 :

Speeding is a crime like any other.

Jomo1972 :

GATSO cameras are just points of enforcement and in law they can place them where ever they like and enforce using evidence gathered from them.

Jomo1972 :

The ACPO guidelines do require a certain number of accidents before resources are utilised but they are just guidelines not law and half the constabularies ignore them.

Jomo1972 :

You are trying to argue that this is about technical enforcement not road safety. Of course, you are absolutely right. Its no defence.

Customer:

Ok Thats fine but dont they have to be clearly identifying the speed for that section of the road

Jomo1972 :

You can write to them making representations but they will just summons you to cour.t

Jomo1972 :

All that is a complete myth I'm afraid.

There is no obligation to highlight the presence of a speed detection device at all. They are perfectly free to hide them behind overgrown trees and catch motorists by stealth in law. Speeding is a crime like any other. The police are under no obligation to warn people of their crime detection methods.

The ACPO guidelines do say they should be highlighted but they are just guidelines and half the constabularies ignore them.

What they cannot do in law is obscure the speed limit signs in any way. Then the motorist would have a challenge.
Jomo1972 :

They do have to advertise the SPEED LIMIT.

Jomo1972 :

But not the presence of a GATSO.

Customer:

IS there not a requirement that puts the onus on the council to clearly identify cameras locations and any enforeable speed limit clearly

Jomo1972 :

But if this is a 30 mph zone then

Jomo1972 :

that is advertised by means of a regular pattern of street light.

Jomo1972 :

Its a restricted road and so national speed limits apply without the need for any other signing.

Jomo1972 :

There's no obligation to advertise a speed detection device.

Jomo1972 :

But S85 RTA says that the authorities need to provide 'adequate guidance ' of the speed limit.

Jomo1972 :

If this is a 30mph zone then its a restricted road which is covered by statute though.

Customer:

That was my point because on this section of road there is more than one speed limit

Jomo1972 :

There are 3 automatic speed limits in the UK - 30 mph for restricted, 60 mph for single lane carriageways that are not restricted and 70 mph for motorways.

Jomo1972 :

There are some different limits for unusually weighted vehicles but standard cars need to comply with those limits.

Jomo1972 :

Those limits are advertised by the geography and street furniture - e.g street lighting, absence of street lighting or a motorway.

Jomo1972 :

If the authorities want to vary those limits they have to erect signs which is why you see repeater and introduction signs.

Jomo1972 :

If you are saying the signing was confusing at the location then there is a defence in that but its been weakened by the case of Peake.

Jomo1972 :

Basically Peake says that the inadequacy must be such that the reasonably observant motorist cannot tell upon normal inspection what speed is required of him.

Jomo1972 :

You may be able to do that. Authorities don't always maintain signs.

Customer:

I appreciate what you say...but if the speed limit changes along the same road and then they have new camera system placed across a set of lights which i have never seen before, is there not a legitimate defense in the fact that the change of speed should be properly and clearly notified especially as there is now a camera system installed to detect any violations.

Jomo1972 :

But it is a higher test than people on sites like Pepipoo would have people believe.

Jomo1972 :

The change in limit should be signing within the requirements of S85 RTA.

Jomo1972 :

The question is whether they did or not. The test in Peake is much higher than the previous case law.

Customer:

Ok so to have a chance of defending this notice I will send in my drivers details no problem but can i also put in a letter explaining that the speed change was not clearly notified? Also what else can i throw at them that MIGHT work or at least make them think twice about sending a summons out?

Jomo1972 :

No, absolutely not.

Jomo1972 :

Send in the S172 form properly completely on about day 21. Do not comment.

Jomo1972 :

If you comment that will annoy them. They can be very childish about things like that.

Jomo1972 :

Just send the S172 form in.

Jomo1972 :

They will send you the fixed penalty offer.

Jomo1972 :

If you want to contest this just ignore that.

Jomo1972 :

If you use the time limits properly that should take you to about month 3 anyway. They only have 6 months to get this into court.

Jomo1972 :

Half the time they forget to summons people and this speed is not huge comparable to the speed limit.

Jomo1972 :

Personally I would never take the fixed penalty. You only get the same number of points at court and you have the chance of them forgetting to summons.

Jomo1972 :

The financial penalties are a bit higher though.

Customer:

Ok I will do as you advise.

Customer:

anything else or other tips that may help me?

Jomo1972 :

Come back if you want more guidance as the process goes on.

Jomo1972 :

But just comply with the law and don't get into a debate with them.

Customer:

Do I have to pay again?

Jomo1972 :

In certain areas I would say there is about a 50% chance of them forgetting to summons.

Jomo1972 :

No, once you've rated postively you can ask related follow ups.

Jomo1972 :

The question won't close from your side.

Customer:

OK thanks for your advice.

Jomo1972 :

No problem.

Jomo1972 :

All the best.

Jomo1972 :

Please remember to rate my answer.

Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 64344
Experience: Over 5 years in practice.
Jo C. and other UK Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Sorry if I want to follow up with any more advice..how do i do it?


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
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