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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 20:32 
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 02:17
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Location: Highlands
THE VARIABLE SPEED LIMIT DEBACLE
http://www.rmbconsulting.co.uk/VARIABLE ... BACLE.html

NOTHING IS AS THE HIGHWAYS AGENCY AND POLICE WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE.
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO LOOK.
‘THEY’ JUST WANT TO KEEP YOU IN THE DARK.
AND IT’S NOT JUST THE M42 AND A FEW FIXED PENALTY TICKETS:

The Highways Agency, the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service would have you all believe that the variable speed limit systems employed on the Controlled, Managed and Operational Motorway network were and are (more importantly for them): enforceable. but, “they” know the truth of the matter, and I will now assist you to know that actually:
Nothing could be further from the truth.
This is not a matter of a minor error in font size, whilst this is a public trigger for the events, in reality this could be said to be a side issue.

Contrary to the press statements of various enforcement staff, the CPS and senior officers of the Highways Agency, this is not a mere minor variation to an already prescribed traffic sign or, such a trivial departure in law that since everyone knows what the signs mean, they could and can be enforced.

The problems go far deeper and are more widespread than that, in fact the very mechanisms by which the whole of the regimes have been set up have been knowingly, and complexly, legally flawed for over a decade.

Here is a list of the roads currently using ‘variable’ messaging including what the Highways Agency would call speed limit signing.
M1, M4, M5, M6, M20, Mt25, M40, M42 and M62

These roads contain both the formerly and currently defective limits that are have been subject to police enforcement whilst those that have known have kept the ‘secret’ to themselves (contrary to the rules of evidence) for years.

BUT, ONE LAW FIRM AND SPECIALIST LAWYER KNOWS THE TRUTH AND IS WORKING TO EXPOSE MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE:
Philip Somarakis
Davenport Lyons Solicitors 30 Old Burlington Street London W1S 3NL O2O7 468 2600
psomarakis@davenportlyons.com

BUT ISN’T IT TRUE THE HIGHWAYS AGENCY AS THE TRAFFIC AUTHORITY CAN DO WHAT IT WANTS?
What RMB Consulting believes to be true, and remains true is that the traffic authority, is the Secretary of State for Transport.

Parliament imposes that duty upon his post and, he is the responsible traffic authority for the Motorway and Trunk Road network.

Below him sits the Minister for Transport and then:
The Department for Transport. (DfT)

Below that Department is an Agency: thIs is called the Highways Agency. This body was set up to assist the Secretary of State for Transport to manage both the Trunk Road and Motorway Networks.
Below the Highways Agency are a number of contractors that provide the lowest bids for maintaining areas of Trunk Road and Motorways.
These are called Term Contractors.

Whilst it is true certain officers of the Highways Agency have been given powers to act as the Secretary of State this is in a few minor capacities to allow some short cuts to be employed. It remains therefore, that the Secretary of State is the Traffic Authority for the motorway network.
For those that don’t believe me the clue is in the HA’s name!

WHEN DID THE PROBLEMS START?
One thing is certain, contrary to what is being said by those involved in media statements, It wasn’t last October when the CPS
discontinued cases, that is a fact.

The issues started with the variable speed limit systems which were supposed to reduce congestion.
Actually, the known problems began in the mid 90’s with the M25. and they have be replicating flawed systems across the motorway network ever since.

WHAT IS THE REAL PROBLEM THEN?
The problem began with the decision to design signs that did not comply with law contrary to the advice of others and the requirements set by Parliament.
In part, the issue remains the use of variable speed signing and the mechanisms employed to undertake the process.
But that is not all allied to this are problems (that the Highways Agency, DfT and quite likely, the Police and CPS) were and are
aware of (but are not admitting to the media, public or Courts).

Then there are major issues with the Traffic Orders created by Statutory Instruments. (another route to a Traffic Order) that impose variable speed restrictions on the relevant roads.

PROBLEM 1:
The Highways Agency has known and been told for many years (nearly a decade) that it has had no power to use the variable speed limit signing on the motorway network.
In fact its own legally binding documents prohibit it from doing so (on the face of that Regulation).

PROBLEM 2:
Regardless of advice to the contrary, it appears that the Highways Agency chose to ‘invent’ its own non-prescribed (illegal) signing, which by any interpretation of the law, it's own admission and the confirmation of the Secretary of Sate and Parliament: are not traffic signs.

PROBLEM 3:
When told about the issues, the Highways Agency carried on regardless and, it still seeks to bury its guilty knowledge under a carpet that neither the ordinary member of the public and the Courts have so far been unable to reveal.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH USING NON-PRESCRIBED SIGNS, EVERYONE, EVEN YOU, KNOWS WHAT THEY MEAN?
Don’t blame me, but as a messenger, I know I will be shot at for revealing what you, the public, have no lawful right to be ignorant of (it’s the CPS that continue the chant: ignorance of the law is no defence). So, arming yourself with knowledge of the law provides access to the facts and that it was, and still remains, Parliaments intent and the law that: led to published government guidance that clearly states:
The use on public highways of non-prescribed sign which have not been authorised by, or on behalf of the Secretary of State [for Transport], is illegal.

This primary signing guidance goes on to state that such signs are no more than obstructions of the highway and to advise that erecting or permitting the erection of obstructions can lead to severe penalties including civil claims should anyone be injured.

There is therefore the issue of engineers / officers being civilly liable if it can be shown / proven that the use of these signs induced or caused events that led to damage or personal injury.

So, who is the criminal and who requires prosecuting now? Is it:
The people that created illegal obstructions and continue to ensure motorists that an Act of Parliament prohibits being convicted of a criminal offence by suggesting that the law has been complied with or:
The ordinary people who are severely punished for non-compliance with illegally imposed criminal regimes.
It matters not what the intent was, or what the spirit of the law is. It is the legal facts that are being fudged or should I say ‘liberalised’, to give the recent media exposure credence.

BUT THE HIGHWAYS AGENCY SAY THE SIGNS ARE UNDERSTOOD AND LEGIBLE AND THE ‘DEFECTS’ DON’T MATTER?
The Highways Agency, its term contractors, the CPS, the Police and those involved in the industry all know that a ‘made up’ sign cannot give effect to a Traffic Order that sets a restriction. A sign of your own design is non-prescribed and, again, no more than illegal obstructions of the highway [the Government’s definition not mine].
Signs have to be harmonised, even across Europe, to ensure road safety and compliance with lawfully imposed restriction.
To allow engineers to have a ‘free for all’ would lead to chaos and abuse. Which it appears we have here.
Giving effect to an imposed Order can only be done by the use of a prescribed traffic signs as set out in Regulations or by the use of signs specially authorised in writing by, or on behalf of, the Secretary of State for Transport.

SURELY THE SECRETARY OF STATE DIDN’T OR DOESN’T NEED TO AUTHORISE HIS OWN SIGNS DOES HE?
That is an argument that the Highways Agency suggested to RMB Consulting, following receipt of their own [no doubt expensive] legal advice.
However, in reality they all know that the Secretary of State is bound by Regulations but not by his own Directions. However, devolved powers or not, the Highways Agency is an agency and are bound by the law and the decree of Parliament. Though of course it suits their position to suggest otherwise.

So therefore, any suggestion of ‘advice’ legal or not appears simply to be a deflection. Not least for the following reasons:
Parliament binds the Secretary of State to undertaking his duties in section 85(1) Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
In that, he can only use the traffic signs prescribed and contained within Regulations to indicate and give effect to (make lawful) the restrictions imposed by the Traffic Order [Statutory Instrument].

In addition, the term traffic sign is a legal term that is defined by the Act of Parliament and, moreover, cannot be modified by the Secretary of State. The format of such signs are ‘prescribed’ (a prescription or formula) contained within the Traffic Signs
Regulations.
The only power he has, is to authorise the use of ‘non-prescribed’ signs as I describe below.

WHAT HAS THE HIGHWAYS AGENCY AND DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT DONE ABOUT IT?
The Highways Agency did finally, after more than a decade, inform the DfT it had and has been using non-prescribed signing to indicate a speed limit imposed by a Statutory Instrument [Orders] on the motorway network.

In fact, because of an official application by the Highways Agency to the Department for Transport, the Secretary of State, in exercising his powers, has granted written authority for the use of these non-prescribed signs on the motorway network. It is important to note that he states that the sign is (and remains) non-prescribed.

That was a problem solving exercise in which all were thereby agreeing in a legal document that these were not and never could be traffic signs.
In addition, may I suggest for those that would question this position, how can you have de minimus of something that is already admittedly totally illegal.

BUT THE PUBLIC KNEW THERE WAS A LIMIT SURELY THAT WAS ENOUGH?
No, there is no guilty knowledge in speeding, and various High Courts have decided this. The limit is either imposed and signed correctly, therefore enforceable or, as the organisations involved know, Parliament prohibits anyone being convicted and, that
has been the law since at least the 1950’s.

ARE THESE THE ONLY PROBLEMS?
No:
1. The Highways Agency, DfT, Police and CPS all know that the Orders imposing restrictions upon the motorway network prohibit the use of the electronic signing for the variable limit regardless of the authorisation.
Therefore the non-prescribed specially authorised signing simply cannot be used.

2. The Highways Agency and other bodies involved believe and / hoped that RMB Consulting, the media and the public were not bright enough to be aware. That is, there was a forlorn hope or intent that you would remain ignorant of the facts. And in turn were happy to allow and continue to allow convictions to be applied where they know no prosecutions should have ever taken place.

THE HIGHWAYS AGENCY SAY THEY HAVE FIXED THE PROBLEM, ISN’T THAT TRUE?
No, whilst their special authorisation agrees the signs were non-prescribed (and therefore not traffic signs), it does not, in the opinion of RMB Consulting., lawyers and industry specialists, permit the Highways Agency to erect and use them on the motorway network.
In addition, the Orders created for the Highways Agency (Statutory Instruments) have never allowed the use of these signs.
Therefore, by choosing to employ signs where lawful designs and formats exist (and existed). The Agency took their system beyond the intent and content of the law.

In addition, by continuing to do so knowing the various legal defects that applied is at best morally indefensible and legally wrong, as it leads to the Courts being intentionally misled and allows what some believe to be miscarriages of justice to continue unabated.

This in itself may be criminal offences by those involved in the perverting of the course of justice.
Regardless, nothing gave or gives effect to the Orders and therefore, like many authorities that have unsigned, unused restrictions, they cannot, in the opinion of RMB Consulting and lawyers, be enforced.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MOTORISTS?
The Act of Parliament is clear: No person shall be convicted of exceeding the limit of speed.

Drivers have been wrongly convicted
The Courts have been misled by those that know and are tasked in law to set out the status of the restrictions in evidence.
In addition, known defects that undermine a prosecution must, by law, be passed to the defence or a defendant.
The public has and is continues to be deliberately misled by those that know.
Convictions continue to be applied in the full knowledge of the known defects.

ARE THERE OTHER CONSEQUENCES?
There may be criminal issues for those in the Police, CPS, Highways Agency etc that knew, know and permitted and continue to permit convictions to be applied when the truth is merely being disguised by cleverly worded media soundbites.

If it can be established who knew, who knows, within the various organisation, it could be said by continuing the deceit, the Courts are being misled, have been misled and that is at best misconduct in public office, perverting the course of justice or dependent upon the evidence given, perjury.

Those that carry out such deceits may be considered for prosecution given the number of Police Officers imprisoned for what some members of the public may believe to be far lesser cases of misconduct in public office.

Do you the public feel that your Civil Servants should be allowed to ignore the law to ensure you are convicted of something that on a plain reading of the legislation is simply not an offence?

Of course those are criminal matters that should be dealt with by the police but, given the current policies and actions of the Police, CPS and other investigative bodies, we believe there is little hope that those who deliberately misled, mislead and conspire to bury the truth will be ever be brought to justice.

The only people to have been prosecuted are those that Parliament prohibits having a conviction applied - you.
Without redress, all those that have been prosecuted, fined, banned, jobless, homeless etc etc should have route to legal redress.
For that, you may need the services of a lawyer (see above), whilst maintaining miscarriages of justice is easier now that legal aid has been all but removed. Many drivers have access to legal protection insurance which should lead to the overturning of any wrongfully applied convictions (if the Courts agree) and / or the refunded fines from fixed penalty tickets.
Recovering money paid for driver awareness courses is another matter.
However, we doubt that those involved have the integrity or strength to admit to or ensure the matters are properly addressed.

This is a debacle of national significance that was avoidable by a simple process:
Let those that we employ to serve us in professional capacities ensure that the law is fully complied with so that those that
actually break a valid restriction can be lawfully punished.

Sadly, that is not a route the Highways Agency, Police and CPS chose to follow.
And of course ‘Liberalising’ the facts to justify an untruth in order to protect those responsible will continue until the whole issue
is exposed to the public as the shambles it really is.

_________________
Safe Speed for Intelligent Road Safety through proper research, experience & guidance.


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