May 23 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, March 23, 2013
A motorist has lost his battle against a speeding ticket, despite successfully arguing that warning signs leading up to a notorious city speed camera were not visible.
Julian Sandiford pleaded not guilty to driving at 36mph in the 30mph zone along the A1074 Dereham Road in Norwich. The 60-year-old was captured driving his R-registration Vauxhall by the camera between Norwich Road and Marlpit Lane at 9.55pm on July 14 last year.
The camera was Norwich’s second most profitable in 2011, catching 2,319 motorists, and it eclipsed that number in the first nine months of last year when it was set-off 2,485 times.
Sandiford, pictured, was representing himself at the trial at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Thursday afternoon and argued that the 30mph signs before the camera were not visible.
But the Crown Prosecution Service argued that Sandiford should have been aware he was in a 30mph zone because the street lights were less than 200 metres apart and there were no signs saying it was not a 30mph zone.
Sandiford said he had come from a 40mph area road further up Dereham Road where the street lights were also less than 200 metres apart.
He said: “In no way was it indicated to me that there was any change in the speed limit. I didn’t have any incline I was in a 30mph zone.”
The photographer, of Calthorpe Road, West Earlham, said he had not driven down the route for 15 years and could not see speed warning signs on the right-hand side of the road because it was dark and there was oncoming traffic.
He presented photos to the court of the speed limit signs on the left-hand side of the road which were covered in foliage and barely visible.
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 Veits quoted a past case which stated that motorists not seeing the sign was not enough of a defence if caught speeding.
He found Sandiford guilty and issued a £60 fine plus three penalty points.
He also ordered him to pay £200 towards the prosecution’s costs.