Legal loophole means speeding drivers could escape prosecution

SPEEDING motorists in villages across North Yorkshire could avoid prosecution due to a legal loophole, police have admitted.

Roads bosses are carrying out a review “as a priority” in two particular villages, Cawood and Riccall between York and Selby , but it is thought similar problems may exist elsewhere.

Many villages have signposted speed limits of 30mph in areas where street lights are spaced 200 yards apart or less, but according to traffic regulations, this should not happen.

Temporary Inspector Lindsey Stamp has investigated and said so-called “repeater signs”, highlighting the 30mph limit, “are expressly prohibited from restricted roads”, and when placed alongside street lighting, may make enforcement “difficult and challengeable”.

Insp Stamp said local councils appeared to have put up the repeater signs to re-enforce the 30mph limit, but the problem was “not necessarily a case of incompetence, but a highly complex subject with many different issues”.

Stillingfleet, Kelfield and Wistow have all been investigated, but deemed compliant.

Police were made aware of the issue by one resident, who did not wish to be named, who said: “It shocks me that the issue is so very widespread and it is likely not only those villages between Selby and York, but many around the county are faced with speed limits that are completely unenforceable and have been for many years.”

In a letter to the resident, Insp Stamp said: “In the case of Stillingfleet, Kelfield, Riccall and Wistow, North Yorkshire County Council has erected repeater signs within the village environs and despite the fact that there is a system of street lights less than 200 yards apart.

“A Restricted Road can not have a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), on it making it a 30mph speed limit. Therefore, if a Restricted Road is so controlled (by a 30mph TRO) the legislation is defective and the speed limit does not exist, is challengeable and drivers cannot be convicted.

Insp Stamp said many of the traffic orders dated to the 1960s, when the villages may not have had street lighting, and said the status of the roads had not been reviewed by the traffic authority.

A joint statement from North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Police admitted a review of signage in Cawood and Riccall would be “carried out as a priority”, but said the majority of villages in the first report were correctly signed.

It said: “As a result of these concerns we have reviewed the 30mph speed limits in Stillingfleet, Kelfield and Wistow villages and this has concluded they are signed correctly and in accordance with expert legal advice commissioned previously by the County Council. Repeater signs are necessary for these particular speed limits because the lighting in the villages has been classed as footway lighting and not carriageway lighting. If the lighting was of a standard sufficient to be classed as carriageway lighting, then the use of repeater signs along the road would not have been appropriate.”

Comments (15)

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10:21am Thu 26 Jul 12

matroom says...

Love it. Love loop holes.
Love it. Love loop holes. matroom
  • Score: 0

10:33am Thu 26 Jul 12

again says...

Yes, whatever..

What I want to know is why the Press doesn't allow us to comment on this story:

http://www.yorkpress
.co.uk/news/9837443.
York_bins_row_latest
/

"THE public were not consulted on the removal of hundreds of litter bins around York because they would have inevitably debated the decisions, the council has said."

Looks like the Press won't let us debate it either.
Yes, whatever.. What I want to know is why the Press doesn't allow us to comment on this story: http://www.yorkpress .co.uk/news/9837443. York_bins_row_latest / "THE public were not consulted on the removal of hundreds of litter bins around York because they would have inevitably debated the decisions, the council has said." Looks like the Press won't let us debate it either. again
  • Score: 0

10:33am Thu 26 Jul 12

MrsHoney says...

I don't understand. :-S Can someone explain?
I don't understand. :-S Can someone explain? MrsHoney
  • Score: 0

11:25am Thu 26 Jul 12

Sawday2 says...

MrsHoney wrote:
I don't understand. :-S Can someone explain?
One 30mph limit is legal, the other 30mph limit is not. The fact that the repeater signs obviously help both the village and motorists seems to be been forgotten in all this. It's all designed to keep jobs worth and their lawyers happy.

Did you know also that where there is a speed limit sign but no end of limit sign (eg the 40mph on the A59 nr Moor Monkton), that too is illegal and unenforceable.
[quote][p][bold]MrsHoney[/bold] wrote: I don't understand. :-S Can someone explain?[/p][/quote]One 30mph limit is legal, the other 30mph limit is not. The fact that the repeater signs obviously help both the village and motorists seems to be been forgotten in all this. It's all designed to keep jobs worth and their lawyers happy. Did you know also that where there is a speed limit sign but no end of limit sign (eg the 40mph on the A59 nr Moor Monkton), that too is illegal and unenforceable. Sawday2
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Thu 26 Jul 12

Whis1962 says...

Is this possibly why every other street light have been taken out?
Is this possibly why every other street light have been taken out? Whis1962
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Thu 26 Jul 12

MrsHoney says...

So the fact that they've put up more than one sign makes it illegal?! That's nuts! If it says 30mph surely that means it's 30mph nevermind how many signs or how far apart they are.
So the fact that they've put up more than one sign makes it illegal?! That's nuts! If it says 30mph surely that means it's 30mph nevermind how many signs or how far apart they are. MrsHoney
  • Score: 0

1:17pm Thu 26 Jul 12

aalexus says...

Sawday2 wrote:
MrsHoney wrote:
I don't understand. :-S Can someone explain?
One 30mph limit is legal, the other 30mph limit is not. The fact that the repeater signs obviously help both the village and motorists seems to be been forgotten in all this. It's all designed to keep jobs worth and their lawyers happy.

Did you know also that where there is a speed limit sign but no end of limit sign (eg the 40mph on the A59 nr Moor Monkton), that too is illegal and unenforceable.
The 40mph 'limit' on the A59 nr Moor Monkton is a "Maximum Speed Advised" limit for the bends (it's not in a red circle), hence the legal speed on that road is 60mph at that point. That sign can only be used with bend signs or loose chippings signs or where the road layout may cause confusion. It's all above board and within legislation.
[quote][p][bold]Sawday2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrsHoney[/bold] wrote: I don't understand. :-S Can someone explain?[/p][/quote]One 30mph limit is legal, the other 30mph limit is not. The fact that the repeater signs obviously help both the village and motorists seems to be been forgotten in all this. It's all designed to keep jobs worth and their lawyers happy. Did you know also that where there is a speed limit sign but no end of limit sign (eg the 40mph on the A59 nr Moor Monkton), that too is illegal and unenforceable.[/p][/quote]The 40mph 'limit' on the A59 nr Moor Monkton is a "Maximum Speed Advised" limit for the bends (it's not in a red circle), hence the legal speed on that road is 60mph at that point. That sign can only be used with bend signs or loose chippings signs or where the road layout may cause confusion. It's all above board and within legislation. aalexus
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Thu 26 Jul 12

Even AndyD says...

Sawday2 wrote:
MrsHoney wrote:
I don't understand. :-S Can someone explain?
One 30mph limit is legal, the other 30mph limit is not. The fact that the repeater signs obviously help both the village and motorists seems to be been forgotten in all this. It's all designed to keep jobs worth and their lawyers happy.

Did you know also that where there is a speed limit sign but no end of limit sign (eg the 40mph on the A59 nr Moor Monkton), that too is illegal and unenforceable.
I've often wondered about that Moor Monkton bit of the A59. I've just always assumed that its more of a guidance limit, or at least something designed to slow people down without any redress to fines etc. Or possibly a mistake! :-)
[quote][p][bold]Sawday2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrsHoney[/bold] wrote: I don't understand. :-S Can someone explain?[/p][/quote]One 30mph limit is legal, the other 30mph limit is not. The fact that the repeater signs obviously help both the village and motorists seems to be been forgotten in all this. It's all designed to keep jobs worth and their lawyers happy. Did you know also that where there is a speed limit sign but no end of limit sign (eg the 40mph on the A59 nr Moor Monkton), that too is illegal and unenforceable.[/p][/quote]I've often wondered about that Moor Monkton bit of the A59. I've just always assumed that its more of a guidance limit, or at least something designed to slow people down without any redress to fines etc. Or possibly a mistake! :-) Even AndyD
  • Score: 0

3:45pm Thu 26 Jul 12

idlehousewife says...

I think the most effective speed signs are those which light up to warn an approaching motorist that he ( I use this pronoun advisedly!) is exceeding the required limit.
On another note perhaps the police should be concerned at the excessive parking outside the local supermarket and bus stop in Riccall. There is a serious accident waiting to happen here.
I think the most effective speed signs are those which light up to warn an approaching motorist that he ( I use this pronoun advisedly!) is exceeding the required limit. On another note perhaps the police should be concerned at the excessive parking outside the local supermarket and bus stop in Riccall. There is a serious accident waiting to happen here. idlehousewife
  • Score: 0

9:59am Fri 27 Jul 12

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

Another loophole: because NYCC installed many speed limit signs which utilise the wrong typeface - and not the official font Transport Medium - the legality of the signs can be challenged. UK Road Traffic regulations specify the typeface and NYCC have chosen to ignore them...
Another loophole: because NYCC installed many speed limit signs which utilise the wrong typeface - and not the official font Transport Medium - the legality of the signs can be challenged. UK Road Traffic regulations specify the typeface and NYCC have chosen to ignore them... Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 0

11:18am Fri 27 Jul 12

panpilot says...

Sorry, idlehousewife, but light up signs are most effective? Dangerous, more like. You're driving along and suddenly a sign lights up and tells you that a) you're speeding, b) there's a junction coming up (!).

So, what's the first thing you do? Take your eyes off the road to check your speedo!

And it's no good arguing that if the speed limit signs light up then you're speeding. I know of at least three in my neck of the woods that light up at 25mph when the limit is 30mph.

Useless and a waste of time and money.
Sorry, idlehousewife, but light up signs are most effective? Dangerous, more like. You're driving along and suddenly a sign lights up and tells you that a) you're speeding, b) there's a junction coming up (!). So, what's the first thing you do? Take your eyes off the road to check your speedo! And it's no good arguing that if the speed limit signs light up then you're speeding. I know of at least three in my neck of the woods that light up at 25mph when the limit is 30mph. Useless and a waste of time and money. panpilot
  • Score: 0

7:53pm Fri 27 Jul 12

idlehousewife says...

Sorry pan pilot, I don't have this problem but then I am a lady driver!
Sorry pan pilot, I don't have this problem but then I am a lady driver! idlehousewife
  • Score: 0

2:40am Sat 28 Jul 12

Magicman! says...

So a street is 30mph by default if street lights are 200 yards apart or less, but if you put up signs saying it's 30mph then the 30mph speed limit cannot be enforced...




EH??
So a street is 30mph by default if street lights are 200 yards apart or less, but if you put up signs saying it's 30mph then the 30mph speed limit cannot be enforced... EH?? Magicman!
  • Score: 0

4:43pm Sat 28 Jul 12

Even AndyD says...

idlehousewife wrote:
Sorry pan pilot, I don't have this problem but then I am a lady driver!
Sexism works both ways and frankly, I'm off to burn my bra at this outrage! ;-)
[quote][p][bold]idlehousewife[/bold] wrote: Sorry pan pilot, I don't have this problem but then I am a lady driver![/p][/quote]Sexism works both ways and frankly, I'm off to burn my bra at this outrage! ;-) Even AndyD
  • Score: 0

9:34am Sun 29 Jul 12

RooBeck says...

Strikes me, that this area of the law is littered with little, quirky exemptions and rules and is wide open to legal challenge. (No wonder the solicitor nicknamed Mr.Loophole, has such a field-day!) Problem here is, the fact that legal services are so astronomically high, that the vast majority of people cannot afford to use the courts and so do not bother, instead taking "the hit". Also, there appears to be many of these speeding restriction signs that are legally dubious, due to defacement, damage, obstructions, heights etc., and perhaps the NYCC(Highways' Units') need to get around and better monitor/replace them? Also, any motorist accused of speeding would afterwards, be wise to inspect same so as to assess their legal compliance?
Strikes me, that this area of the law is littered with little, quirky exemptions and rules and is wide open to legal challenge. (No wonder the solicitor nicknamed Mr.Loophole, has such a field-day!) Problem here is, the fact that legal services are so astronomically high, that the vast majority of people cannot afford to use the courts and so do not bother, instead taking "the hit". Also, there appears to be many of these speeding restriction signs that are legally dubious, due to defacement, damage, obstructions, heights etc., and perhaps the NYCC(Highways' Units') need to get around and better monitor/replace them? Also, any motorist accused of speeding would afterwards, be wise to inspect same so as to assess their legal compliance? RooBeck
  • Score: 0

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