A BUSINESSMAN clocked driving at 40mph and 42mph in a ‘30mph zone’ had his speeding tickets thrown out in court.
John Brewin was caught by a mobile speed camera unit in Lower Eccleshill Road, Darwen, in November last year and again in January.
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But after choosing to contest the penalties, he defended himself in court and argued that they were not legal.
Mr Brewin, 62, who owns online trading company Blakeholme Ltd on the former East Lancashire Warehousing site in Lower Eccleshill Road, said after setting the precedent he felt more people caught in the road may try to appeal.
Speaking after the hearing at Blackburn Magistrates’ Court he said: “I questioned the speed restriction status of an unlit section of the road.
“Under the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984, a road can only be classed as ‘restricted’ if there is street lighting on it with lamp-posts not more than 200 yards apart, or if a Traffic Regulation Order has been made by the local authority designating the road as restricted.
“During the court hearing I requested that the prosecution produce a traffic order showing the road’s restricted status.
“After a lunchtime recess consultation, the Crown prosecutor failed to produce such an order and the charges were dropped.”
Mr Brewin did point out that although the necessary traffic order could not be produced in time, it did not mean one did not exist and said anyone trying to defend themselves on the back of his case should be wary of that. A Blackburn with Darwen Council spokesman said speeding fines were not its responsibility and so it would not be looking into other speeding tickets given in the road.
After further research, evidence that a traffic regulation order existed in Lower Eccleshill Road, dating back to 1999, was discovered. Allan Whipp from the East Lancashire Advanced Motorists, said: “If a driver knows it’s a 30mph limit, irrespective of street lamps, they should not exceed that speed.
“Usually it is the other way, with street lamps indicating a road has a 30mph limit, but no lamp-posts doesn’t mean it is not a 30mph zone.”