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Suffolk: Speeding appeal driver warns of obscured road sign dangers on county’s rural roads

08:52 17 June 2014

An example of obscured road signs

An example of obscured road signs

Archant

A driver who spent months overturning his speeding conviction has claimed the location of many road signs in rural Suffolk are both hazardous and unfair to motorists.

Caspar James was caught last July driving at 43mph in a 30mph section of the A143 in Wattisfield, near Eye.

After being found guilty of speeding at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court in January, Mr James successfully appealed the conviction at Ipswich Crown Court in April.

He used evidence from an
arboriculturist to prove the road sign was obscured by foliage, making it unfair to prosecute. He also called upon a forensic traffic expert to demonstrate the sign’s position on the inside of a left-hand bend gave motorists insufficient warning to slow down – even if they could see past the trees.

The 34-year-old Norfolk musician claims the problem affects many rural routes in East Anglia – particularly in summer – and is calling upon authorities to improve the visibility of signs by locating them away from left-hand bends and overgrowth.

“The police are obviously concerned about the problem of speeding in these villages but they don’t seem to notice that there’s a deeper problem with the visibility of signs,” he said. “These rural roads are some of the most dangerous we travel on and yet these are the ones where signs don’t seem to be monitored – in the worst case there could be a fatality.”

Suffolk Constabulary said speeding was a priority for the county and mobile enforcement cameras were located at areas where motorists were known to speed after visibility checks were carried out. Suffolk County Council claimed most cases of obscured signs were the adjoining landowners’ responsibility.

“We write to the owners...and remind them of their legal responsibilities,” a spokesman said.

5 comments

  • On the a134 from Newton Green to Sudbury the sign displaying the end of 30mph is totally obscured by foliage and likewise on the a134 coming out of Bury St Edmunds 40mph towards Sudbury is also obscured by foliage. I tried to write so suffolk county council but there is not an option available on their website for comments.

    Report this comment

    sue douglas

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

  • What a 'shambles' of a country we have become under this sham of a government !. no money to repair pot holes !, no money to cut back overgrown hedges !, but plenty of money for 'Hedge Funds' !!

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

  • @amsterdam81 - weather is certainly a factor, but not as much as government spending cuts which mean verges cannot be cut as often.

    Report this comment

    Origami Penguin

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

  • I hope the council or highways know that it is their responsibility to keep 1 metre from the road tidy, which also includes keeping road signs visible.

    Report this comment

    rescue125

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

  • Overgrown road signs seem to be a particular problem this year, perhaps because the weather has lead to more growth than usual. The county council cannot just dismiss this matter as the fault of landowners. If road signs are necessary, and provided at public expense, the council have the responsibility to make sure they are visible at all times.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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