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Speeding query

(12 Posts)
Bilberry Mon 17-Nov-14 00:24:58

I was recently zapped by the police for doing 34 in a 20 zone. First time caught speeding in over 20 years. I accepted the fixed penalty and paid the fine and got points. My query is theoretical as at 34mph I would have been speeding if it were a 30mph zone but...

I turned out of a side road onto a main road. The main road ran past a school before I joined it so is 30mph most of the time but 20mph at certain times 'when lights flash'. I was annoyed I hadn't noticed this so backtracked after getting the ticket and the lights on the sign on the side road weren't flashing (they were on the main road in the opposite direction next to where I was stopped) so basically I had no way of knowing that I was in a 20mph zone. Would this have been a reasonable defence if I was doing 30? Also, given I didn't know the lights were broken when I accepted the fixed penalty could I have appealed? The notice seemed to suggest I couldn't which seems very unfair as you have to make a decision without all the facts.

53Dragon Mon 17-Nov-14 00:40:27

You can appeal after the event if signs were inadequate - a friend's partner takes on these cases but there will be someone near you.

You were lucky to be booked for 34mph - at 35 in a 20 you would've gone to court

Bilberry Mon 17-Nov-14 01:15:12

Thanks, but as I was doing 34, saying there was nothing to indicate it wasn't 30mph zone wouldn't help. In reality, I hadn't even driven anywhere at 34mph as I had just pulled out of the side road in front of another car (safe distance) so I had accelerated quickly to get into what I was thought was the speed of the traffic and had just taken my foot off the accelerator when zapped. I had been obeying the twenty's plenty signs on the side road but there weren't any on the main road as it is 30mph most of the time. I looked very carefully at all the signs last time I went through that area (at a careful 20mph). It is confusing and the flashing lights still weren't working on the route I took. Think I may report the broken lights anyway.

differentnameforthis Mon 17-Nov-14 02:18:49

When a road has the potential to be 2 different speeds, at different times of the day (some road here are adjusted during peak times) we have signs here that say "if in doubt, it's 50" (we are in Australia, so 50 is equiv to your 20, it's usually 60 at other times, unless a built up area)

I can't see how you pulled out within a safe distance of oncoming traffic, & then had to accelerate quickly to get into the speed of traffic. If you had enough room, normal acceleration would have been sufficient.

Collaborate Mon 17-Nov-14 07:15:32

If the side road limit is 20 you don't need a new sign on the main road for the limit to remain 20. Or was the limit in the side road 30?

lougle Mon 17-Nov-14 07:39:34

The crime isn't traveling for some distance at 34 mph. It's being recorded at over the speed limit at any time. You can't claim that it was only a moment!

PickledInAJar Mon 17-Nov-14 08:51:34

Yes if you enter a road and there has been no warning that it's 20mph then it seems a bit of a legal loophole that they've overlooked.

Not every school road has a 20mph limit, and unsigned roads are automatically 30 in built-up areas.

You haven't got anything to lose by reporting and appealing. I'd submit photos of your route to show no speed signs were provided.

Amateurish Mon 17-Nov-14 10:29:39

Don't lose any sleep over this. Your were speeding anyway, you've accepted the points and fine. Life's too short.

TheAlias Mon 17-Nov-14 10:47:06

If you were doing 29, then maybe it would be worth appealing but as it was 34 you are guilty of what you were charged with and would receive the same penalty anyway.

And really, regardless of the speed limit, why would you be doing 34 outside a school, at school time?

Bilberry Mon 17-Nov-14 11:25:26

I know I was speeding anyway, doesn't matter how long for. Will be more careful from now on. I accelerated 'quickly' just as you normally do. It is not a high performance car and my foot wasn't on the floor; I just tried to get up to speed within a reasonable distance. I also didn't actually pass the school and as I didn't know the area I didn't know there was one further down the road (police told me). The side roads were 'twenty's plenty' which I presume are advisory as the sign sits right next to a 30mph sigh. Where the police stood to zap and pull me in was where the 40mph speed limit starts and 100 yards from the 60mph limit. I am normally very careful about not accelerating in advance of speed limit changes so had stopped accelerating. Nothing to appeal but will report the lights.

Bilberry Mon 17-Nov-14 11:52:33

Reported it but they won't pass it on to the council to check as I didn't report it the same day. Will check again next time I pass. I think these signs operates the wrong way round. Surely it would be better if the speed limit was 20 unless lights are flashing as that would be a fail safe?

LurkingHusband Tue 18-Nov-14 10:09:09

Was it a 20mph zone ?

Having attended a speed awareness course (my first traffic summons in 31 years - I was sooooooooo pissed off), it's become clear to me that the instructors advice to buy and read (annually) a copy of the highway code was probably worth it's weight in gold.

Were you not offered a chance to go on a speed awareness course ?

FWIW I was very cynical about the criminal law being used to shepherd me to a course run by a private company. However, to be fair, my misgivings were unfounded, and it was a valuable 4 hours that I would have no problem being made mandatory for all drivers every 10 years.

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