Beware of Fake Speed Signs in the UK, Pranksters on the Loose

speed signs 1 photo
Here’s something to think about this afternoon. What if some of the speed signs you encounter each day are fake and placed on the side of the road by pranksters? It happened in the UK at least...
Yup, an avalanche of speeding fines hit South Yorkshire drivers recently after being fooled by 40 mph signs on a road near Rotherham. The speed signs were fake and stood up for three days in an actual 30 mph sector.

Although the law says the police should check if the speed limit is correctly signaled on a road sector before enforcing it, nothing stopped hundreds of honest motorists receive a speeding ticket.

Of course, the Association of British Drivers (ABD) called the situation “outrageous” and demanded all the penalties to be revoked.

“The police clearly failed to check the signs in this case,” said ABD director Brian Macdowall. “If these penalties are not revoked, it means that even the most law-abiding drivers are at risk if speed-limit signs cannot be trusted. All drivers caught must be exonerated.”

How do discover a fake speeding sign?

Well, sometimes you really can’t. The authors of this scam used some very unsuspecting road signs to do the trick. If it were to be simple round painted metal plates, they would have been too obvious, since the reflecting material would have been missing from the paint.

Where do they got the correct speed signs then? Just do a simple internet search and you’ll find companies selling them. Some are even based in Britain and the merchandize they sell is meeting or even exceeding the BS EN 12899-1; 2007; and UK highway regulation as well as ticking the boxes for the ISO 9001 standard. And they even come as cheap as £21 (€26.6/$33.7).

What you could do is check the speed limit on the side of the road to match the one displayed by your sat nav (if it comes with such capabilities). Of course, it may not be 100% correct, but it could guide you a bit when in doubt.

It also helps to know what are the normal speed limits on different types of roads and motorways.
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