Will ‘Wrong Sign’ Speeders Get Their Money Back?

Insurance firms whho routinely ramp up the cost of premiums for drivers with speeding convictions are watching developments in Warwickshire closely.

That’s because the police have been using illegal signs on the M42 close to Coventry and thousands of motorists could see their speeding convictions quashed.

Lawyers are asking where this leaves the many car insurance companies who subsequently charged more for car insurance from those convicted drivers.

It’s a legal grey area and the authorities appear to be reluctant to go back over the six preceding years when the illegal signs were used to quash the convictions and repay motoring fines.

However, those who were caught speeding from November 2012, when the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) highlighted the signage problem with Warwickshire Police have had their prosecutions dropped.

The CPS says the signs were using the wrong font for speeding displays, despite the law being clear on what can and what cannot be used.

Former police traffic officer Richard Bentley, who now works as a traffic management consultant, said it would be only fair for the authorities and insurance firms to reconsider all of the points and driving bans which were picked up, as well as speeding fines.

He said that their cases should be reheard in a magistrates court so that the convictions can be officially quashed.

Mr Bentley, who appears in court as a professional witness on a regular basis, said that the relevant laws are clear about the signage and that the ones on display could not be considered legal.

Any sign which does not conform to the Traffic Signs Regulations must gain approval from the Department for Transport before the limits they display are legally enforceable.

The signs were installed by the Highways Agency, which insists that the signs are legal and display the correct fonts which are clearly visible to motorists. They admit that the issue was first raised three years ago.

Gary Hollis, manager of Warwickshire Police’s camera unit, says anyone with a speeding conviction due to the signs should seek independent legal advice about their conviction.

The police are aware that any potential legal action will potentially include paying compensation for those who lost their jobs from having invalid points added to their licence or were banned from driving.

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