Council to look into temporary speed limit that led to drivers being wrongly fined

Lincolnshire County Council is looking into the setting up of a temporary speed limit on a stretch of road in the Sleaford area where a traffic legal expert claims motorists have been wrongly convicted of speeding.

To complicate things though, a national speed limit repeater sign was left in place. ENGEMN00120130412114220

Michael Pace a specialist road traffic lawyer has recently represented three motorists who were prosecuted for speeding on the B1191 between Kirkstead Bridge and Martin South Drove, between March 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020.

All three have now had their charges dropped after he made enquiries and discovered that there was no legal basis behind the charges.

Now, Karen Cassar, assistant director for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, has said: “We are currently investigating the implementation of the temporary speed limit on the B1191 during 2019 and 2020.

Solicitor Michael Pace, Partner and Head of Personal Injury and Motor Law. EMN-210427-104143001

“Should any mistakes be confirmed, we will liaise with our colleagues in Lincolnshire Police and notify them of any issues we have identified.”

On November 21, 2018, the county highway authority put an emergency temporary speed limit in place on the B1191 between Kirkstead Bridge and Martin South Drove which was suffering from subsidence.

The Emergency Traffic Regulation Order came into effect that day and restricted the road to a 40mph limit.

Signs were put up at both ends of the affected stretch of road, but to complicate things, says Mr Pace, a national speed limit ‘repeater’ sign was left in place for eastbound traffic, and there were no repeater 40mph signs, so that drivers could check the limit.

The original order expired on February 28, 2019, but the 40mph signs remained in place and the police continued to prosecute ‘speeding’ motorists.

Mr Pace says the county council did not realise their error until June 2020, when they put a new Emergency Traffic Order in place, which commenced on July 1, 2020 and finally expired on August 31, 2020.

The lawyer, working for county solicitors, Chattertons, says: “It appears the council did not tell the police of the omission. As a result drivers and motorcyclists have been prosecuted for breaking the 40mph speed limit. All will have had points put on their licence by the court. Some may have been disqualified for reaching 12 points.

“All those prosecuted for speeding between February 28, 2019 and July 1, 2020, are entitled to have the conviction set aside, their fines repaid and the points taken off.

“Any motorist who got to 12 points and was disqualified may have a claim for compensation.

“This situation shows why it is always important to take advice from a specialist road traffic lawyer in order not to fall victim to the prosecution process.”