A driver who hit a cyclist while travelling at 49mph in a 30mph zone will not be prosecuted, because the CPS has determined following an initial hearing, that a prosecution attempt will not be successful. It was determined, during the hearing, that not only was an incorrect sign used, but it was incorrectly placed, so that the man would not have seen it properly, and may not have been aware it was for the road on which he was travelling.
Road signs must meet specific guidelines and designs in order for them to be considered legally binding. Speed signs in the UK are white circles with a red outline and the speed limit written in black letters in the centre. There are also regulations that govern where the signs should be placed, to help ensure that drivers can see them and are aware that they govern the particular road that they are driving on at the time.
40 year old Michael Campbell was driving at 49mph in a 30mph zone when he hit Jaye Bloomfield as she pushed her bike over a pedestrian crossing. 44 year old Miss Bloomfield died after the incident, and the driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. However, after it emerged that the road sign was not appropriately marked, the Crown Prosecution Service has said that it will not be pursuing prosecution.
The accident occurred just after a slip road, and the sign was placed at the side of the slip road exit, which is another potential infringement of road sign usage. Because the sign appeared that it may have been part of the slip road markings, rather than those of the main road, Mr Campbell claims that he was not able to properly see the sign.
An inquest was held, and it was determined by the CPS that they would be unlikely to get a prosecution, because of these factors, and so have decided not to continue. The coroner has said that they will be writing to the Council to determine when the proper sign will be displayed, and Miss Bloomfield’s family may be considering civil action against the driver.