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(1)For the purpose of securing that adequate guidance is given to drivers of motor vehicles as to whether any, and if so what, limit of speed is to be observed on any road, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State, [F1in the case of a road for which he is the traffic authority, to] erect and maintain F2. . . traffic signs in such positions as may be requisite for that purpose.
(2)[F3In the case of any other road, it is the duty of the local traffic authority—]
(a)to erect and maintain F2. . . traffic signs in such positions as may be requisite in order to give effect to general or other directions given by the Secretary of State for the purpose mentioned in subsection (1) above, and
(b)to alter or remove traffic signs as may be requisite in order to give effect to such directions, either in consequence of the making of an order by the Secretary of State or otherwise.
(3)If a [F4local traffic authority] makes default in executing any works required for the performance of the duty imposed on them by subsection (2) above, the Secretary of State may himself execute the works; and the expense incurred by him in doing so shall be recoverable by him from the [F4local traffic authority] and, in England or Wales, shall be so recoverable summarily as a civil debt.
(4)[F5Where no such system of street or carriageway lighting as is mentioned in section 82(1) is provided on a road,] but a limit of speed is to be observed on the road, a person shall not be convicted of driving a motor vehicle on the road at a speed exceeding the limit unless the limit is indicated by means of such traffic signs as are mentioned in subsection (1) or subsection (2) above.
(5)In any proceedings for a contravention of section 81 of this Act, where the proceedings relate to driving on a road provided with [F6such a system of street or carriageway lighting], evidence of the absence of traffic signs displayed in pursuance of this section to indicate that the road is not a restricted road for the purposes of that section shall be evidence that the road is a restricted road for those purposes.
[F7(5A)In any proceedings for a contravention of section 81 of this Act, a certificate of an officer of the Secretary of State [F8or, where the function of specifying under section 82(1)(b) of this Act a classification or type of road is, by virtue of section 63 of the Scotland Act 1998, exercisable by the Scottish Ministers, a certificate of an officer of the Scottish Ministers]that a road is of a specified classification or type shall be sufficient evidence of the facts certified; and a document purporting to be such a certificate and to be signed by such an officer shall be deemed to be such a certificate unless the contrary is shown.]
(6)Where by regulations made under section 17(2) of this Act a limit of speed is to be observed, then, if it is to be observed—
(a)on all special roads, or
(b)on all special roads provided for the use of particular classes of traffic, or
(c)on all special roads other than special roads of such description as may be specified in the regulations, or
(d)as mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) above except for such lengths of special road as may be so specified,
this section shall not apply in relation to that limit (but without prejudice to its application in relation to any lower limit of maximum speed or, as the case may be, any higher limit of minimum speed, required by any such regulations to be observed on any specified length of any specified special road).
(7)The power to give general directions under subsection (2) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.
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