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Speeding,  Perth JP, September 2016

Our client was charged with speeding at 50mph in a 30mph limit near the small village of Luncarty. She was acquitted after trial after the Crown failed to establish that the unipar gun used by the police had been calibrated properly. The case was widely reported in the newspaper press, including the Mail on Sunday, the Glasgow Herald and the Sunday Express.

The case was an interesting one. Although the client was acquitted on the basis of issues surrounding the testing of the gun, there was another even more fundamental point which did not require to be fully argued.

As we have pointed out elsewhere on our website, before anyone can be convicted of speeding, the Crown requires to prove that the speed limit has a legal basis. This legal basis comes from a Road Order. The area governed by the Road Order – and only that area – is subject to the speed limit. This is irrespective of where the speed limit signs begin.

We had an independent expert investigate this issue for us. His finding was that she MAY not have been within the area defined by the Order. As the trial progressed, it became clear that the 30mph speed limit signs started approximately 200 metres prior to the location stated in the Road Order. Our client had passed the signs but was still approx 150 metres away from the location stated in the Road Order. Therefore our client was still within the 60mph limit notwithstanding she had passed the 30mph signs.

Although we did not need to rely on this particular avenue of defence, it once again illustrates the point that the legality of a speed limit should not be taken at face value. It may well be that your case is the rare exception where the speed limit is in fact illegal.