A motorist has admitted speeding along a residential street at 71mph. The defendant, who is a car mechanic, has become the first person to be convicted of breaking a 20mph limit in Brighton and Hove.
He admitted speeding along Elm Grove, Brighton, driving without due care and attention and driving a vehicle without an MOT at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 29 May 2014.
Magistrates described his speeding as “off the scale” as they sentenced the 27-year-old, disqualifying him from driving for 28 days and ordered him to pay £183 in fines, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 in costs.
Elm Grove, one of the steepest roads in Brighton, was incorporated into phase one of the roll-out of 20mph zones across the city in April last year.
The court heard the defendant was driving a blue Ford Fiesta when he pulled away from traffic lights on Elm Grove at speed on November 26 at about 7.45pm. The defendant was clocked driving at 71mph as he drove over two large 20mph signs on the road, followed by an unmarked police car. The vehicle’s MOT had expired four days before.
The defendant previously had a clean license.
After the case Superintendent Jane Derrick said:
“the defendant was driving at an unacceptable speed that put other road users and himself in danger. No one sensible could believe that driving at 71mph in a residential area, especially in such a busy city as Brighton, is anything other than stupid. Speed limits are there to keep people safe. The faster you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident. Anyone who chooses to race around the streets should expect to be caught and punished.”
Councilor Bill Randall , whose ward includes Elm Grove, added:
“Driving at 71 miles an hour in a domestic neighbourhood and in a road with a school and hospital on it is reckless and anti-social in the extreme. However, this case does confirm the need for a 20mph speed limit to encourage people to drive carefully and considerately in the city’s domestic areas, a fact that residents in the Surrenden Road recognised recently when they voted overwhelmingly for the introduction of a 20 mph limit in their neighbourhood.”