Speed Limit Sign Was Fake—the Tickets, Not So Much

Hundreds are trying to overturn fines in London after someone erected 'unauthorized' 50mph sign
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2024 9:55 AM CST
Hundreds Fight Fines After Fake Speed-Limit Sign
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Inner_Vision)

Hundreds of irate Brits are pushing back on their speeding tickets after someone erected a phony speed-limit sign with the wrong speed limit posted. The Telegraph notes that Transport for London recently lowered the speed limit temporarily to 40mph on a section of the A20 highway in south London, near Sidcup, due to flooding issues. Speed cameras along that stretch of road were subsequently set for that new speed limit. The problem is, per TFL officials, an unknown, "unauthorized third party" then came along in January and erected a sign showing a fake, higher speed limit of 50mph—after which thousands of drivers automatically received tickets for going too fast.

Those affected were hit with fines and/or points on their licenses, and police say those penalties won't be waived, per the Evening Standard. The minimum fine for speeding is about $125. The Sun notes that drivers who sped along the A20 and got caught aren't happy, and between 500 and 600 of them are fighting their tickets, even forming a Facebook group to campaign against them. At least a dozen local MPs have also written to London Mayor Sadiq Khan asking him to nix the fines. "My mum depends on me, and I've ... got a mortgage," one driver who got five tickets in one week tells News Shopper. "I could potentially lose all of this if I lose my license."

Meanwhile, TFL notes the correct 40mph sign has since been installed and an investigation on the fake sign is ongoing. London's Metropolitan Police are also looking into the attempt to "pervert the course of justice," per the Telegraph. Authorities are pooh-poohing complaints about the tickets, suggesting that those who were busted were going even above the 50mph they believed was permissible. "If a motorist were to have ... sped up to 50mph after seeing the now-removed 50mph sign, their average speed of the section covered by cameras would not have resulted in them being issued with a speeding ticket," a police spokesperson notes. (More strange stuff stories.)

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