'Speeding' motorist fine quashed over wrong signs

Highways Reporters

A motorist convicted for speeding on a motorway fitted with the ‘wrong shaped number’ signs has become the first to see his prosecution overturned.

The Birmingham man, who does not wish to named, was let off the hook for allegedly breaking the speed limit between junctions seven to nine of the M42, despite making a guilty plea.

At least 11,000 fixed penalties were issued to motorists breaking the variable speed limit between junctions seven and nine of the M42 last year alone.

Matt Reynolds of legal specialist Just Motor Law, who took up the case is now appealing for potentially thousands drivers who may have been fined on stretches of the M6 and M42 to come forward  challenge fines and even bans.

Police decided to scrap all pending prosecutions for speeding on parts of the M6 and M42 when it was revealed that Advanced Motorway Indicators fitted between 2006 and 2009 were technically illegal.

This was because the font used to display variable speed limits on the electronic signs contravened the guidelines set out by the Department of Transport.

Warwickshire Police also turned a blind eye to drivers caught last November, when the issue first came to light and the Secretary of State issued an ‘authorisation’ which allowed a rule change to ensure the signs were legal.

Reynolds, who uncovered the error through a Freedom of Information request, said: “When my client was summoned to court for allegedly breaking the 40mph speed limit by more than 25mph, he faced losing everything.

“The alleged speed at which he was travelling meant that an immediate ban could have been imposed, which would have left him incapable of carrying out his duties at work, which involved driving all over the country. This clearly would have had a horrendous affect on his ability to pay the mortgage and support his family.

“Although my client didn’t think he had contravened the speed limit, he assumed that the police must be right and that he must be at fault, so pleaded guilty by post and received six points and fines and charges totalling £640.

Although he escaped a ban, he was given six points which meant that his licence would be at risk for three years if any other offence occurred.”

However, after hearing of the error, the client contacted Just Motor Law – which led to the decision being overturned.

Mr Reynolds said: “If my client had known about the non-compliance of the speed camera numbers, then he would have realised he was in the right and would never have pleaded guilty originally.

“He is grateful that the matter – which has proved extremely stressful - has been resolved, and is keen to alert other drivers in a similar position that they too may have been unfairly convicted.”

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue


  • Smart motorways' BCR problem
  • New lighting decision support tool



View the latest issue

Highways jobs

Senior Project Manager

Up to £50,823 per annum
The role of this post is to oversee the project management, development and implementation of the County Council’s Major Transport Projects.. Leicestershire
Recruiter: Leicestershire County Council

Programme and Change Delivery Manager (Spatial Planning and Urban Design)

£43,833 - £53,115 Depending on skills and experience
Are you a change delivery manager with expertise in England’s local government spatial planning and urban design sector? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recruiter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Bridges Manager – Highways and Transportation

£49,320 to £57,376
You will be responsible for... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Head of Major Projects and Infrastructure – Highways and Transportation

£59,526 to £67,815 plus 10% recruitment payment
This role will be pivotal to the effective delivery of our Highways and Transportation service, therefore requires an... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Principal Travel Plan Officer

£34,728 to £38,890 per annum
We have a fantastic opening within our team for a Principal Travel Plan Officer. Taunton, Somerset
Recruiter: Somerset County Council

Director of Economy & Environment

£96,414 to £106,650 per annum
You will play a leading role in driving forward the county’s ambitious growth programme. Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Recruiter: Gloucestershire County Council

Director of Transport & Highways

£96,414 to £106,650 per annum
You will play a leading role in driving forward Gloucestershire’s ambitious, multi-million pound transport and highways programme. Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Recruiter: Gloucestershire County Council

Board and Partnership Board Chair

Up to £60,000 per annum
This is unique opportunity to lead the Northern agenda and play a pivotal role in creating new opportunities for 15 million people in the North. Manchester/Leeds (Flexible)
Recruiter: Transport for the North

Waste Strategy Manager

£47,672 per annum
We are looking to recruit a waste strategy specialist to add the necessary technical expertise to our team. North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear
Recruiter: North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

Highways Officers

£26,999 to £29,636
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? Selby, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Operative

£19,312 to £21,748
We are looking for Highways Operatives to work as part of our operations teams here at Kirklees Council. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Environmental Health Officer

£44,370 - £50,964 per annum
As a Senior Officer in the Food Safety & Infectious Disease team, you will be one of the operational leads on... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recruiter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Permit Officer

£24,982 - £27,041
In October 2016 Cambridgeshire County Council launched it Permit Scheme for Road Works and Street Works. Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Traffic Systems Engineer

Competitive Salary
This is a full time role, with a minimum of 37 hours a week for a 6 month interim period, with the potential of the role going permanent. York, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: City of York Council

Transport Compliance Officer

£27,741 - £30,451 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen for two Transport Compliance Officers to join our Transport Services team at... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recruiter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Client Team Leader - Highway Maintenance

£40,876 - £42,821 per annum
Are you looking for a challenge that widens your experience, adds something unique to your CV and helps to make Warwickshire the best it can be?  Warwickshire
Recruiter: Warwickshire County Council

Head of Waste & Parking

£62,235–£68,615 pa
Are you passionate about waste recycling and the bigger picture of sustainability and tackling the climate emergency? Horsham, West Sussex
Recruiter: Horsham District Council

Project Engineer x2

Grade H £35,745 - £43,857
We’re looking for experienced civil engineers to join our well-regarded design and implementation team. Havant, Hampshire
Recruiter: Havant Borough Council

Environment Locality Officer

£27,741 - £29,577 per annum
The officer will play a key role in collaborative working with other internal & external stakeholders specifically... Telford, Shropshire
Recruiter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Principal Structures Engineer

£39,880 - £42,821 per annum
We are looking for a dynamic structurally competent and relevantly experienced officer, to deliver the structural requirements and disciplines on... Bristol
Recruiter: Bristol City Council

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video