Driver wins in row over ‘vulture’ speed camera

Kevin Crane who was caught speeding on the A27 near Havant and appealed against the conviction.     Picture: Paul Jacobs (110169-2)
Kevin Crane who was caught speeding on the A27 near Havant and appealed against the conviction. Picture: Paul Jacobs (110169-2)

Increase in complaints against Hampshire police

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A MOTORIST caught out by ‘yellow vulture’ speed cameras has had his conviction overturned after complaining that there were not enough warning signs.

Kevin Crane was captured by the cameras, which measure average speed, doing 49mph through a temporary 40mph zone on the A27 at Havant during roadworks in November 2009.

080378_a27 paj () 29/1/8''Traffic backs up on the A27 as traffic joins at the Havant Junction. With the Average Speed Cameras along the route''PICTURE: PAUL JACOBS (080378-4)

080378_a27 paj () 29/1/8''Traffic backs up on the A27 as traffic joins at the Havant Junction. With the Average Speed Cameras along the route''PICTURE: PAUL JACOBS (080378-4)

He refused to pay the initial £72 fine and in August the 51-year-old stainless steel consultant was convicted, in his absence, and fined a total of £490.

But he fought for a retrial and at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court Mr Crane, of Lavant, near Chichester, was acquitted.

Representing himself, he argued there was inadequate signage on the road to make the limit enforceable on the night he was caught because roadside signs had been removed due to the severe weather.

The Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence and the case was dropped.

Mr Crane said: ‘It was my case that the roadworks had finished and that I was driving to the conditions and on a road where signage was limited due to the severe winds and lashing rain.

‘Nobody was working that evening, there was little traffic and the roadworks, in my opinion, were duly finished.

‘The CPS came armed with three camera experts but I was never going to challenge it on the basis of the camera.

‘It was the road signage and they could not prove it was correct.’

In a statement the CPS said it decided to offer no evidence when Mr Crane raised the issue of road signage because they would have had to adjourn to bring in an expert.

It added: ‘The CPS advocate in court decided that it would not be in the public interest to pursue this matter any further given the age, nature and relatively low seriousness of the offence.’