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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 70304
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Jo, While on holiday in Dorset I got nabbed by a fixed speed

Customer Question

Hi Jo, While on holiday in Dorset I got nabbed by a fixed speed camera for doing 35 in a 30 zone.
The road is a trunk road between Christchurch and Hurn and has a mixture of residential housing, fire station, petrol station, supermarkets , all set well back from the road.
There is not a single speed limit sign in the section I was using, except for one on the camera itself!! Also no sign warning a the camera's existence.
I have since learned that when no speed limit signs exist, one must assume the limit to be 30mph. Is this correct? Is there any obligation on the local TA to display camera or speed limit signs?
Thanks, John (Surrey).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

Was there a regular pattern of street lights?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Re street lights, I've just checked on Google Earth and it appears there are street lights at regular intervals. I was flashed at 6.30pm in August, it was still light.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I cannot really give you good news.

There is no obligation to highlight the presence of a speed detection device at all. They are perfectly free to high 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. In fairness, if test purchase officers had to warn people of their presence they would never catch any dealers and the different here is just one of degree unfortunately.

The ACPO guidelines do say that they should be highlighted. They are just guidelines and not law. Many of the Constabularies ignore them and there has been case law that weakens any need to enforce them.

What they cannot do in law is obscure the speed limit signs in any way. Then the motorist would have a challenge. There are only three automatic speed limits in the UK. The first is 30 mph in a restricted zone signed by street lights, the second is 60 mph in a single carriageway without street lights and the third is 70 mph on a motorway. If they want to vary those limits then they need authority from the Department of Transport and they need to erect signs that amount to ‘adequate guidance’ under S85 Road Traffic Act. There are street lights here and so the presumptions exist.

Sorry thats probably not the answer you wanted but it is the position that you have and I have a duty to give you truthful and accurate information even though its not what I want to say.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Jo, thank for your responses. I am not entirely happy, and would like to continue the conversation on Thursday. I hope you will be able to do this. I just need some help with phrasing my letter to the traffic authorities, so it shouldn't take long.After that I will post a rating. Please reply so that I have a link to reply to you. Many thanks.Regards, ***** *****
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure what you mean by a link ? You wil be able to ask follow up questions after rating as weLl