Almost a hundred drivers on the M5 near Bristol in southeast England have been fined for speeding, after 20mph variable limit was left on for 14 hours.
The Sun, under a headline “Greed Limit” reports that a speed restriction was put in place in September 2017, after a fatal crash on the busy road but that Highways England admit they wrongly set the temporary limit for more than 14 hours – leading to some 439 being caught by a speed camera – 97 were prosecuted for speeding offences after going too quickly, hours after the restriction was supposed to have been lifted.
The report says one of those caught out was lorry driver Gary Richards, who drove past speed cameras at 42mph at 2.30am, 12 hours after the crash happened, telling the paper, “When I saw the speed limit I could not believe it. I have driven all over Europe and have never seen a 20mph speed limit on a motorway. I thought it had to be wrong. I thought there was no way I was being told to drive 20mph.
“I slowed down but not enough. When I got flashed it annoyed the hell out of me.”
The report says he was given four penalty points, a £350 fine and ordered to pay a £35 victim surcharge, £85 in costs and spent more than £1,000 on legal aid.
Highways England told the paper: “The gravity and complexity of this incident has led to a long and ongoing learning process to help us improve how we manage such incidents. We have acknowledged and apologised for our error when dealing with complaints made since January. Had we been aware of the error at the time it occurred, we may have considered inviting Avon & Somerset Police to consider whether issuing NIPs was appropriate.”
Highways England issued Gary with an apology and a £50 goodwill gesture, which he says he rejected.