A grandmother has overturned her speeding ticket after discovering a loophole in the law which could mean penalties for hundreds of other drivers being overturned.
Sandra Upton, 69, convinced a judge that the legislation which put a temporary speed limit alteration in place, known as a Highways Agency speed limit order, was so badly worded that it could not legally be enforced.
Motorists in Kent could now have their speeding tickets rescinded after the retired solicitor challenged her case and won. A Freedom of Information request made by Mrs Upton indicates that her victory could cost authorities upwards of £20,000 if all 1,617 affected drivers were to successfully appeal their speeding convictions.
The grandmother of four, was summoned to court after being caught speeding at 51mph along the A20 near Dover on August 7, 2015. She did not deny breaking the speed limit on the stretch of road which was restricted to 40mph from the usual 70mph.
Those speeding on the A20 between Dover and Folkestone whilst the Dover Traffic Assessment Project was in place between June 20 and December 18 last year, before the wording was corrected, could challenge their cases after the landmark judgement.
Kent Online reported that after finding the pensioner not guilty of speeding, the district judge, Justin Barron, said: “The order was, to put it bluntly, a cut and paste job that was not adequately checked in circumstances in which the enforcement measures put in place would inevitably lead to a significant number of fixed penalties being issued and some prosecutions."
The Dover MP, Charlie Elphicke, has now called for the Kent police to contact motorists and arrange refunds according to BBC reports. Mr Elphicke said: "We've had a court ruling that the fines are not lawful. The right thing to do would be for Highways England and Kent Police to get in touch with the people who have been wrongly fined and make sure they're refunded."
In a statement, Highways England said: "The 40mph speed limit on the coastbound A20 is clearly signed and it is important that drivers observe the speed limit and drive safely."