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Judicial Review Req'd

Variable Speed Limit Setup Errors by Highways England Remote Sign and Camera Operators

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Two questions: A) Has there been a precedent for instances of inconsistent, incorrect or the inappropriate application of variable speed limit policy on a Motorway providing a legal basis to challenge a speeding ticket?

 

For example:

 

1) Motorway road works have road side speed limit signs stating 60 mph but overhead gantry displaying lower variable speed limit i.e. 30 mph without risk factor justification. The remotely controlled gantry signs do not correspond to conditions on the ground.

 

2) Motorway road works end and maybe end of road works signs are displayed each side of the road but subsequent overhead gantries incorrectly displaying variable speed limit of 60 mph without risk factor justification. The remotely controlled gantry signs do not correspond to conditions on the ground.

 

3) Motorway overhead gantries correctly displaying variable speed limit during time period of high traffic volume but erroneously left on during subsequent time period of low traffic volume without risk factor justification. The remotely controlled gantry signs do not correspond to conditions on the ground.

 

4) Motorway single overhead gantry displaying variable speed limit of 50 mph immediately followed by overhead gantry displaying national speed limit without risk factor justification prior during or after. The remotely controlled gantry signs do not correspond to conditions on the ground.

 

5) Motorway road works reducing four lanes to two lanes having no variable speed limit applied followed by road works with the same lack of risk factor justification but with overhead gantries displaying variable speed limit. The remotely controlled gantry signs are not consistently applied to the same ground conditions.

 

B) How incorrect or contradictory does a variable speed limit need to be before drivers should rely on their better judgement of the surrounding context to determine their progress without fear of the current judicial process automatically presuming guilt with no requirement for errors by Highways England to be accepted in defence or mitigation?

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Some years ago a motorist challenged a ticket he had received for exceeding the speed limit displayed on the M4 close to Heathrow airport. His challenge was that the limit was unnecessary as it did not reflect the conditions at the time.

 

He won.

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Anyone who travels on the m25 at night will know that many times they forget to change the displayed limit and in some spots is 40.

This happens at 2-3am with empty roads.

I go at the speed displayed even if it doesn't make sense.

I prefer to keep my licence clean rather than pay insurance companies for their solid gold taps.

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Thanks john and king.

 

So there does not seem to be common, readily available examples of an established process to tackle these issues but seems to be a steady stream of people stating effectively that remotely controlled gantry signs and use of cameras do not correspond to conditions on the ground.

 

Does anyone know the process and people involved in implementing a variable speed limit,

a Single Justice Procedural Notice (SJPN) refers to a named key witness Camera Technician,

are these people Police Officers or do they work for Highways England.

 

How are Highways England involved?

Their web site states ... Highways England operates, maintains and improves England’s motorways and major A roads.

They also have a general enquires phone number and complaints procedure the aim of which they state as …

If you’re unhappy with any part of the service we provide, we want to hear about your experiences so we can learn from them and improve.

 

Has anyone experience of reporting issues to Highways England?

Don't they put up those signs around some roadworks asking people to report any concerns on a given phone number?

Edited by Judicial Review Req'd
Typo

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I've contacted Highways many times to tell them that their signs on the M1 are incorrect but usually their response is that they have only just finished doing whatever the sign said was happening. 99% of the time that is an outright lie but I know they are never going to admit it.

 

And they wonder why, in general, most drivers ignore the recommendations to slow down. Obviously the variable limits have to be adhered to.

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I think we have all seen examples of where someone sitting in a darkened cubicle somewhere has applied a speed limit when there was no need for that application but that is the law so you stick to the speed (or thereabouts) indicated by the signs.

 

Where they are used to try and maintain traffic flow where there is congestion it is doomed to failure because the variable speed limits were based on computer modelling done years ago by Sybase rather than actual driving conditions observation. However, governemnts like to follow failure by throwing more resources at the problem to create a bigger failure rather than try something different.

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