Contesting a speeding ticket (variable speed limit).

Raffi2020
Raffi2020 Posts: 45 Forumite
First Post
Hi Guys,
Hoping for a little bit of advice and input on this issue. I've received a letter saying I've been caught speeding at the Jct19/20 variable speed limit section of the M5. It states I was doing 62mph and it alleges the speed limit was 50mph at the time.

However, I'm not sure it's accurate. I know the area well and am positive I never saw a 50mph speed limit where it usually is (there are big signs along the section). In addition, it was at 9pm, and I'm fairly sure that variable limit is only introduced at busy periods - and between the lockdown and it being 9pm, I know for a fact the road wasn't busy at that time, nor do I believe I saw any accident or workforce in or around the area.

I know contesting a ticket can open a can of worms, and truthfully I can't be 100% confident there wasn't a reduced speed limit at the time. But I know myself well enough to know I wouldn't have deliberately been doing 62mph if the 50mph limit was in place, and I also can't think of a reason it would have been in place at 9pm at night, during a particularly quiet time given the lockdown - had there been roadworks or an accident I would have seen them, I'm sure.

So I'm just not sure what to do really. Part of me thinks I should just eat the ticket and take the £100, 3 points and the awareness course. The other part of me wonders if I should take it further. Can I ring someone informally and find out if the speed limit was in fact 50mph at the time? In don't dispute I was doing 62mph at the time - that's entirely possible. But I'm not convinced it was a 50mph limit at the time. I know it's unlikely a mistake has been made, but I feel like if I could find out for certain whether the speed limit was in place at the time I'd get my answer. 

Any thoughts, advice or input would be much appreciated!
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Comments

  • Ditzy_Mitzy
    Ditzy_Mitzy Posts: 1,851 Forumite
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    If you've been offered a speed awareness course, go on the speed awareness course.  A retired traffic police officer will tell you a few funny anecdotes, you'll get a hot drink and maybe a biscuit - it's not that bad.  Then get on with life and never think about this again.  
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,508 Forumite
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    The only way you would have any possible hope to fight this would be dash cam footage proving no lower limit was in force.  Variable limits can be used at any time, just because you don't see anything doesn't mean nothing has happened.

    Without the evidence go on a course if offered.
  • waamo
    waamo Posts: 10,298 Forumite
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    You don't pay £100 take 3 points and do a course. If you are offered a course and take it then that's the end of it. No fine, no points and no record of a motoring conviction. 

    If you take the fine and points you don't do a course. It's one of the other, not both.

    To contest if you need to enter a plea and go to court where the case will be heard by magistrates. You don't get to see the evidence against you until you enter your plea. At that point the offer of a course is long gone, it's points and a fine or a not guilty.
  • TadleyBaggie
    TadleyBaggie Posts: 6,048 Forumite
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    edited 25 June 2020 at 2:06PM
    Pretty sure that section is covered by HADECS3, if so they have a secondary camera set back from the gantry that shows the speed limit displayed at the time of the alleged offence. If you ask for photographs "to aid with the identification of the driver", they will often send the complete set and you will be able to see for yourself.
  • Jackmydad
    Jackmydad Posts: 9,186 Forumite
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    Take the course as already said.


  • Raffi2020
    Raffi2020 Posts: 45 Forumite
    First Post
    I've looked and, in fairness, it was a 50pmh speed limit. I must have plain just not seen it. I'll take the course. Annoying but my own stupid fault, must have just missed it. 
    Thanks for your input though everyone, really helpful, I appreciate it!
  • AdrianC
    AdrianC Posts: 42,189 Forumite
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    Raffi2020 said:
    ...and I'm fairly sure that variable limit is only introduced at busy periods - and between the lockdown and it being 9pm, I know for a fact the road wasn't busy at that time, nor do I believe I saw any accident or workforce in or around the area.
    Which may well be precisely because the variable limit was in operation...

    Sometimes, a variable limit is used as a kind of "rolling roadblock" to hold traffic back - for example, debris collection or moving a disabled vehicle from the carriageway. No, it didn't work with you... But perhaps you simply didn't reach whatever the reason was in time to see it, even so.
  • Supersonos
    Supersonos Posts: 1,080 Forumite
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    Raffi2020 said:
    I've looked and, in fairness, it was a 50pmh speed limit.
    What have you looked at to confirm to yourself that the 50mph limit was in force? 
  • EssexExile
    EssexExile Posts: 6,134 Forumite
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    waamo said:
    You don't pay £100 take 3 points and do a course. If you are offered a course and take it then that's the end of it. No fine, no points and no record of a motoring conviction. 

    If you take the fine and points you don't do a course. It's one of the other, not both.

    To contest if you need to enter a plea and go to court where the case will be heard by magistrates. You don't get to see the evidence against you until you enter your plea. At that point the offer of a course is long gone, it's points and a fine or a not guilty.
    You do of course pay for the course.

    Don't do as Ditzy_Mitzy says and "...get on with life and never think about this again." If you listen during the course and "think about it again" you may save yourself a few bob, or your or someone else's life even.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
  • lesalanos
    lesalanos Posts: 863 Forumite
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    What speed do you normally drive at on quiet motorways?  Is 62 lower than you would generally do with no speed limits in force? 
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