Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE CALVERT-SMITH
| Matthew Patrick Peake
|- and -
|Director of Public Prosecution
Mr Michael Forster (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service) for the Respondent
Hearing dates: 10 February 2010
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Calvert-Smith:
a. that the appellant was the driver,
b. that the camera was working correctly, or
c. that the appellant had been driving his car at a speed in excess of 40 mph.
i. Was I correct in finding that the prosecution must establish a zone or envelope of lawful signage in order to enforce the speed limit in that area.
ii. Was I correct in finding that provided the signage was adequate, minor breaches of the regulations did not impact on the legality and enforceability of the speed limit.
iii. Was I correct in finding that the Titchfield roundabout ended one envelope on the A27 to the South East and started a new one to the North West where the Appellant was speeding.
iv. Was I correct in finding the breaches of the signage at the junctions of Titchfield Hill and Southampton Hill where these roads join the A27 to be immaterial to enforceability of the 40 mph speed limit.
v. Was I correct in disregarding any failures of signage at Prelate Way, Primate Road, The Hurdles, Hook Lane and Warsash Road as immaterial to the enforceability of the 40 mph speed limit on the A27.
vi. In all the above circumstances was I correct in finding that the speed limit was enforceable and that the appellant was rightly convicted of speeding.
The legal framework
(1) For the purpose of securing that adequate guidance is given to drivers of motor vehicles as to whether, and if so what, limit of speed is to be observed on any road, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, [in the case of a road for which he is the traffic authority, to erect and maintain….traffic signs in such positions as may be requisite for that purpose.
(2) [In the case of any other road, it is the duty of the local traffic authority-]
a. To erect and maintain ….traffic signs in such positions as may be requisite in order to give effect to general or other directions given by the Secretary of State for the purpose
(4) [Where no such system of street or carriageway lighting as is mentioned in section 82(1) is provided on a road], but a limit of speed is to be observed on the road, a person shall not be convicted of driving a motor vehicle on the road at a speed exceeding the limit unless the limit is indicated by means of such traffic signs as are mentioned in subsection (1) or subsection (2) above.
(7) The power to give general directions under subsection (2) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.
"….in the light of the strict conditions imposed by the language of section 75(3) of an earlier Act the RTRA 1967 the sheriff was not only entitled but bound to acquit the respondent, and it matters not that all the other prescribed signs were erected in compliance with the directions…."
"The ordinary meaning of the words used in section 85(4) is that two tests must be met before the appellant can be convicted. The first is that at the time when the offence is said to have been committed there were such signs as are mentioned in section 85(1) or (2). The second is that those signs indicated the relevant speed limit. At the very least it seems to me that this second test involves a requirement that at the geographical point where the motorist exceeded the speed limit the signs could reasonably be expected to have conveyed the limit to an approaching motorist in sufficient time for the motorist to reduce from a previous lawful speed to a speed within the limit. This court observed in Wawrznczyk that the purpose of section 85 is that "adequate guidance be given to motorists". The objective of section 85(4) is that motorists should not be convicted in the absence of adequate guidance. In my view the requirement I have described is necessarily implicit in order to ensure this objective."
He answered the 3rd question in the case stated:
"(3) There is a requirement that at the geographical point where the motorist exceeds the speed limit the requisite signs could reasonably be expected to have conveyed the limit to an approaching motorist in sufficient time for the motorist to reduce from a previous speed to a speed within the new limit."
"Section 85(1) requires adequate guidance to be given to motorists. That adequate guidance here related to the 960 metres of road properly the subject of the speed restriction order. If the signs incorrectly include a stretch of road not subject to the order I am unable to accept that a motorist is not given adequate guidance concerning the stretch of road properly the subject of the order. If he speeds on that stretch of the road he commits an offence. The appellant in this case was speeding on a part of the road subject to the order."
i. Yes in the sense described in paragraph 28 above.
iii. This was a conclusion open to the District Judge on the facts of the case.
Lord Justice Elias
"[Where no such system of street or carriageway lighting as
is mentioned in section 82(1) is provided on a road], but a
limit of speed is to be observed on the road, a person shall
not be convicted of driving a motor vehicle on the road at
a speed exceeding the limit unless the limit is indicated by
means of such traffic signs as are mentioned in subsection
(1) or subsection (2) above."