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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9348
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have been sent a speeding ticket for driving down a dual

Customer Question

Dear Sir/Madam, I have been sent a speeding ticket for driving down a dual carriageway at 58mph. I joined the dual carriageway approx 600 mtrs before the speed trap van. The speed restriction sign on the left at the junction was completely obscured by a Give Way sign placed directly in front of it. The one on the right I took to be a restriction in the opposite direction. The repeaters up to those within 25mtrs of the van were completely obscured by vegitation. I had no way of knowing there was a 50mph limit. The measurement was taken 297.7 metres from the trap van. I therefore estimate the first visible repeater was at least 260 metres in front of the point of speed measurement. I have asked the Hants Police about this and they say that as one sign was visible at the junction that is sufficient for a successful prosecution. They say that as the joining road was 40mph that I should have been doing this as max on the dual carriageway. I have plenty pictures and an email trail I can send to you. All of this is contrary to the Guidance Document issued by the Government but the police say this is only guidance. This seems extremely unfair. Please advise.***@******.***
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

Is it particularly important for you to escape this penalty? Are you a new driver or do you have points already?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sir, I have no points on my licence and never have had any. The last Speed Awareness course I did was 3.5 years ago.
My serious genuine concerns are 1. For the safety of the public. Not having signs puts us all at risk. 2. For what is right and fair. I would readily accept punishment for something I have done wrong (and did last time) but have absolute belief in what is fair and honest. I have photographs, attached, that show clearly that there is absolutely no indication of any speed restriction. I have spent all weekend searching regulations and find no justification for the alleged offence. I have checked guidelines which, in many many points show that Hants do not follow the Ministry of Transport Guidelines, which are very specific. All Hants Police say is that they will be successful in prosecution. They say they do not have to follow any guidelines. This road is dangerous with no signs. Pictures attached. Please advise.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

Of course the police will say that they are going to be successful in any prosecution. They are not going to say that your defence will succeed!

They are correct that they don’t have to follow the guidelines. It would be remiss of them, not two, but they don’t have to follow them because they are not written statute.

I assume that the sign is on the post which is just behind the blue car which is poking out of the drive.

If that’s the case, I can see why you are aggrieved.

I cannot see the sign that they allege was visible at the junction.

The legislation says that there must be repeater signs at specific intervals and your defence would be that there are no repeater signs because they are obscured.

You need a plan which shows where the visible and where all the invisible signs are and where you joined the road.

I think you have a good prospect of succeeding in defending this if it went to court but you never know what the magistrates are going to say on the day. The downside is of course that if you are still found guilty regardless, you will have to pay prosecution costs and a higher penalty and of course some prosecution costs. You could however appeal that decision if you are found guilty.

Good luck with it. You deserve it.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.

FES

Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

Of course the police will say that they are going to be successful in any prosecution. They are not going to say that your defence will succeed!

They are correct that they don’t have to follow the guidelines. It would be remiss of them, not two, but they don’t have to follow them because they are not written statute.

I assume that the sign is on the post which is just behind the blue car which is poking out of the drive.

If that’s the case, I can see why you are aggrieved.

I cannot see the sign that they allege was visible at the junction.

The legislation says that there must be repeater signs at specific intervals and your defence would be that there are no repeater signs because they are obscured.

You need a plan which shows where the visible and where all the invisible signs are and where you joined the road.

I think you have a good prospect of succeeding in defending this if it went to court but you never know what the magistrates are going to say on the day. The downside is of course that if you are still found guilty regardless, you will have to pay prosecution costs and a higher penalty and of course some prosecution costs. You could however appeal that decision if you are found guilty.

Good luck with it. You deserve it.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.

FES

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
My approach is 1. To clarify what the regulatory requirements are with Ministry of Transport. I have the details for this. 2. To Appeal to the Chief Constable. 3. To appeal to www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk 4. To create a website showing how dangerous Hampshire roads are. For item 4 I have been collecting many photographs which are best described as Highly Embarrassing. I want to do more research first, particularly on Regulatory requirements. I want to collect all specific points from the Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Transport Chapter 3, ie https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223943/traffic-signs-manual-chapter-03.pdf
I want to put all points in favour in my appeals.
Court Hearing - Seems a complete waste of time, high risk, and almost certainly loaded in favour of the police.
Please, do you agree?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

I think numerals 1-4 are a good plan.

I don’t think that 4 will assist with any court proceedings.

Whether you go to court on this really depends on whether you can spare the time.

Rule number one is “never go to court on a principle”

You go to court either because you are not guilty or because (in this case) is there was no signage which complied with the statutory requirements and in particular no signage which was visible!

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sir, I thank you indeed. There will be no court proceedings. 4 it is intended will cause immense embarrassment (you should see the pictures I have!). I will keep pushing and pushing on an ongoing basis adding and adding to the web site. Just so you know I am a leading expert in IT, particularly on issues with security, websites etc. Please email me***@******.***, your contact details if you are allowed.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

Thank you.

It will be interesting to see the website when it is completed.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
After much further discussion with the Hampshire Police it was ascertained that repeater signs are no longer required, and that the one sign visible at the entrance to the dual carriageway was not compliant with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) 2016. As a consequence the police went back to the location and tore down branches on the tree blocking the view to the repeater sign, and are now claiming they have pictures that show that the repeater sign is visible. I have pictures from before they removed the branches and I have pictures of the broken stems of the branches on the tree. I have formally complained to Hampshire Police by raising a complaint and have complained directly to the Chief Constable as well. My complaint is for damaging evidence and perverting the course of justice. The pic of the sign is 832 which I believe I have attached.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

Thank you.

What you want to avoid is the trouble of going to court and hence, I would send them the before & after photographs and tell them that if they persist in this, you are going to complain to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.