Donate SIGN UP

They Only Want Your Money

Avatar Image
Hymie | 21:43 Fri 16th Feb 2024 | News
60 Answers

I’m surprised this news story hasn’t been posted on AB, where over 500 have been caught speeding due to a fake 50MPH sign – it looks pretty genuine to me in the photo.

The authorities are saying that the speeding fines are valid (despite the fake sign).

Of course some of those caught speeding may lose their licence due to reaching 12 points.

NJ might have something to say about this.



41 to 60 of 60rss feed

First Previous 1 2 3

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by Hymie. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.

"It would interesting if they was a marked increase on number of speeders during that period"

Yes there has been.

I can understand some of the reasons. It is a wide dual carriageway which was, until November, subject to NSL (and still is in the opposite direction). However, the "terminal" signs (which, despite their name, are at the beginning of the stretch) are clear and prominent and there are the usual small repeater signs which are required. However, for regular users, dot matrix signs were provided for a couple of weeks either side of the introduction warning of the change. I don't think any driver has been "duped". There are many roads which would seem as if they should be subject to a higher limit than they actually are. That's where the signs and the driver's eyes come in.  

Thanks, NJ, for deciphering and answering my rather mangled post.

I shouldn't multitask

"As there are tolerances, I wonder if they used 57mph for the distance covered by the rogue sign?"

I doubt it. The calculation the police did was to establish the average speed of a vehicle with the driver obeying both the limits (the proper 40mph stretch and the short improper 50mph stretch). The argument that drivers have made is that the rogue sign caused them to exceed an average of 40mph (and so commit an offence) over the entire stretch. The calculation shows that it (obviously) would have, but not sufficiently to see enforcement.

The "tolerances" do not set a new limit; they allow a margin (2mph) for device tolerance and the 10% is in order to prevent large numbers of challenges being made on spurious grounds of inaccuracy. In theory (though never in practice, despite what some drivers claim) enforcement can begin at 1mph above the limit. In this instance the device tolerance is largely irrlevant. Average speed systems are extremely accurate, with the timing system accurate to 1/100th of a second. All they need to do is to take a photo at a predetermined spot. There is no error margin with targetting the vehicle, none which may occur if the vehicle is accelerating or braking and no radar or laser signals which may be deflected by other vehicles in the vicinity. 

I expect there will be court cases over this - interested to see how it pans out....

"I expect there will be court cases over this - interested to see how it pans out..."

It will indeed, dave. I must say I expected the Met to fold when the "rogue" sign came to light. However, I think they were right not to. Anybody pleading Not Guilty to speeding based on that sign is on very shaky ground, IMHO. With about 90% of the stretch perfectly properly signed without any doubt, to suggest that their average over the its whole length was increased to such a degree by their possibly being misled over the last 10% is quite a stretch. Still, as you say, interesting. I'll keep my eyes out. The first is unlikely to hit the courts for some months yet. The police have six months to bring proceedings and in most areas (certainly the Met) they usually take all of that. It will then be a few months before any trial takes place, so it could be getting on towards the end of the year. 

The 43mph figure would have been based on 40 and 50, so in those two areas the normal leeway would have been 46mph and 57mph, and in the combined stretch it would be 49mph. So anyone being dinged for 47-49 mph average speed might be a bit aggrieved. BUT the usual leeway is only discretionary anyway, so I don't see much chance of redress.

"So anyone being dinged for 47-49 mph average speed might be a bit aggrieved. BUT the usual leeway is only discretionary anyway, so I don't see much chance of redress."

Quite so, Ellipsis.

Unfortunately many drivers believe the tolerance sets a new limit. They then become aggrieved if they are pinged at 1mph above that level. Anyway, I’ve done a few sums.

I’m not sure of the precise distance of the entire stretch but a quick measure on “Streetmap” puts it at about 2.6km. So slightly less than I originally thought at around 1.6 miles. I know exactly where the rogue sign was located and it was certainly no more than about 300 yards from the end of the stretch. So roughly the entire stretch is 2,800 yards end to end of which (if the rogue sign is to be incorporated) 2,500 yards is subject to 40mph (with a maximum before enforcement of 45mph) and 300 yards is subject to 50mph (with a maximum before enforcement of 56mph).

So if a driver covers the 2,500 yards @ 45mph it will take him 113.6 seconds. If he covers the final 300 yards at 56 mph it will take him 6.7 seconds. (Actually it will take him a little longer since he will have to accelerate from 40 to 50 after reaching the rogue sign but this is negligible and since it is to his advantage anyway, we can ignore that)  So this is 120.3 seconds to cover the entire 2,800 yards – an average of 47.6mph.

If that same driver covered the same stretches at the legal limits (again assuming he was misled by the rogue “50” sign) using my same calculations he would have averaged 42.8mph. This is not unadjacent to the 43mph the police say they calculated, suggesting my estimates of the distances involved cannot be too far out.

So the driver travelling at the “Limit +Tolerance” speed throughout can feel a little aggrieved as he would see action against him because of his believing the “50” sign allowed him to travel at 56mph. But a driver travelling at what he believed was the legal limit would not.

These are the sort of calculations that would be adduced as evidence if any driver took his case to court, And frankly, I don’t fancy his chances.

I would care to bet that some of those charged DO get their penalty overturned - we shall see.

I don't think they will have them overturned by the police, dave. The Met has already said it does not propose to discontinue any action. This means they will have to plead not guilty in court where the sort of evidence I outlined will be produced.

The difficulty for any drivers convicted following a trial is the cost. The offer of a fixed penalty or course (each costing £100 or thereabouts) will be lost. They will face an income related fine (minimum half a week's net income), a "victim surcharge" of 40% of the fine and prosecution costs. The police or CPS usually ask for £620 for a straightforward trial but if expert evidence is required, that may increase considerably. In any event, few people will emerge with a bill less that £1k and once word about that get's around, others may be reluctant to follow.

If I were affected & about to lose my licence under the totting up rule & possibly my job and my house as a result I would certainly be risking £1000 to challenge this in court.

DAVE, on what would your argument be based?

There was a fake 50 mph sign that looked real, I was duped.

the authorities have a duty to ensure correct signage

DAVE, as I understand it, the police are taking action only against those who would have been above the usual tolerance even if that sign had been legal.

so how is the huge increase in the number of speeders otherwise explained?

I'll leave this now - no point in discussing further until any legal process is gone through.

Have the number of fines increased dramatically or is it the number of those hoping they can challenge the fines?

see ^^  12.55

It wasn't addressed to you in particular and anyone is free to answer my question.

" how is the huge increase in the number of speeders otherwise explained?"

I drive that road frequently and the answer is perfectly simple: large numbers of drivers either miss or ignore the perfectly prominent speed limit signs.

The stretch used to be subject to the NSL and now it is subject to 40mph. The old NSL signs I illustrated in my GSV screenshots have been replaced by the same sized (and equally compliant) "40" signs. There is no reason why anybody should miss them any more than they should miss any other speed limit sign.

I have driven down that road since this story hit the streets. The last time was just three days ago. Even then, with all teh recent publicity, large numbers of vehicles were passing me well in excess of 40mph, quite a few I would estimate way beyond 50 and quite a few even faster than that. Drivers were not "duped" by the rogue 50 sign because it did not appear until 90% of the stretch had been covered. As I have demonstrated, even if they sped up to 50mph upon seeing that sign, they should still not have averaged more than 43mph.

My only explanation is that they either were not paying attention or they decided the limit did not apply to them. The rogue 50 sign had nothing to do with it. 

41 to 60 of 60rss feed

First Previous 1 2 3

Do you know the answer?

They Only Want Your Money

Answer Question >>