Legal loophole could overturn motoring fines

Reporter:

Matt Jones

HUNDREDS of motorists could be let off speeding charges because of a legal loophole, a solicitor has said.

He says that missing and damaged speed signs along the A541 Mold to Wrexham Road led to a speeding case being dismissed at Mold Magistrates Court.

He says his client was unaware of the difference in speed limit between each side of the duel carriageway outside Pontblyddyn.

His legal team argued the limit could not be enforced. Solicitor Marcus Johnstone said motorists are often unaware a limit can become unenforcable if just one ‘terminal’ speed sign, marking the start of the limit, is missing.

He said: “My client was charged with speeding and from an early stage we became aware the speed signs at various entry points on the A541 did not comply with Road Traffic Regulations.

“In this case a number of signs along that stretch of road were missing or damaged.

“It does not matter if the motorist knows the speed limit. There is, in effect, no speed limit.”

The man was travelling towards Mold in a national speed limit before performing a u-turn on a slip road and heading back towards Wrexham, entering the 50mph limit.

He saw no signs showing a change and was accused of driving at 68mph after being caught by a mobile police speed camera.

Magistrates said there was no case to answer and dismissed it and costs were awarded to the defence from the central fund.

Mr Johnstone said he believed other motorists convicted of speeding on the road could have their convictions set aside.

He said: “This road is often used by the police to target speeding motorists and I estimate hundreds, if not thousands, of motorists have been convicted.

“These motorists may be entitled to have their convictions set aside and the penalty points removed from their licences, as well as fines reimbursed.

“Consider the motorists who were banned from driving as a result of speeding and who may have lost their jobs and livelihoods as a result.

“These motorists may be entitled to substantial compensation.”

North Wales Police declined to comment and said it was a matter for Flintshire Council.

A spokesman for Flintshire Council said: “As far as we are aware the signs are in accordance with the traffic signs regulations and general directions.”

If you think you may be affected call 01514 228020 or go to www.speedingsolicitor.co.uk

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