September 20 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 22, 2014
A road safety organisation is calling on local authorities to tackle the issue of road signs obscured by foliage.
Obscured road signs are at best a nuisance for drivers, and at worst can be misleading and dangerous, according to GEM Motoring Assist.
GEM chief executive David Williams said: “Road signs provide vital orders and information for drivers, who choose their speeds and actions based on what the signs tell them. If they can’t see the signs, then their ability to make safe decisions is compromised, especially if they’re on unfamiliar roads.
“In the name of road safety, we therefore call on local authorities to organise some far-reaching cutbacks of trees, bushes and branches, so that speed limit and other signs are made as clear as possible to everyone using their roads.”
GEM lists the following examples of prosecutions in which attempts were made to use obscured road signs as a defence:
• In March 2013, Julian Sandiford pleaded not guilty to driving at 36mph in a 30mph zone, arguing that warning signs leading up to a speed camera on the A1074 in Norwich were obscured by trees. District Judge Peter Veits agreed that the signs were covered by foliage but he questioned why the driver did not see a 30mph sign on the right-hand side of the city-bound road which was not covered by bushes and trees. Mr Sandiford’s appeal was rejected.
• Caspar James was caught in July 2013 driving at 43mph in a 30mph section of the A143 in Suffolk. After being found guilty of speeding at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court in January, Mr James successfully appealed the conviction at Ipswich Crown Court. He used evidence from an arboriculturist to prove the road sign was obscured by foliage, making it unfair to prosecute.
Do you know of any road signs in Norfolk obscured by foliage? Let us know by posting a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org