Traffic on M42

How's this for a technicality? According to a report from The Telegraph, thousands of speeding tickets issued to drivers over the last six years while traveling on a portion of the M42 motorway west of Coventry may not actually be liable for their fines. Why? Apparently, a series of signs showing variable speed limits were created with numbers that are too narrow.

An official Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions document has existed since 2002 that sets standards by which traffic signs must adhere. Since these variable speed limit signs use an improperly sized font, a group of lawyers and traffic consultants say tickets issued to motorists based on these signs are null and void.

In somewhat kinda-sorta-related news, a barber in the Cornish town of Liskeard named Andy Blackwell has started blowing the whistle on local wardens who ticket motorists who haven't paid parking fees. It seems Blackwell had been using a megaphone to perform a similar service, but the police put the kibosh on that arrangement, so he instead switched to whistles, using one himself and handing them out to other local shopowners.

Not surprisingly, the Cornwell Council isn't pleased. "Civil enforcement officers carry out an important role and it is disappointing that a small number of traders in Liskeard have decided to take this action," said a spokesperson.