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Road Traffic Regulation Act 1967

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Speed limits

71General speed limit for restricted roads

(1)It shall not be lawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle on a restricted road at a speed exceeding thirty miles per hour.

(2)The Minister and the Secretary of State, acting jointly, may by order made by statutory instrument and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament increase or reduce the rate of speed fixed by subsection (1) above, either as originally enacted or as varied under this subsection.

72What roads restricted

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, a road is a restricted road for the purpose of section 71 of this Act if there is provided thereon a system of street fighting furnished by means of lamps placed not more than two hundred yards apart.

(2)A trunk road or classified road is not a restricted road for the purposes of the said section 71 by reason only of the provision thereon of such a system of street lighting as aforesaid unless such a system was provided thereon before 1st July 1957.

(3)A direction may be given that a specified road which is a restricted road for the purposes of the said section 71 shall cease to be a restricted road for those purposes or that a specified road which is not a restricted road for those purposes shall become a restricted road for those purposes.

(4)In any proceedings for a contravention of the said section 71—

(a)a certificate of an officer of the highway authority for any road stating whether such a system of street lighting as aforesaid was provided thereon before 1st July 1957, and

(b)a certificate of an officer of the appropriate Minister or (in the case of a road in Wales or Monmouthshire) of the Secretary of State that a road is or is not a trunk road or a classified road,

shall be evidence of the facts certified; and a document purporting to be such a certificate and to be signed by such an officer as is mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) above shall be deemed to be such a certificate unless the contrary is shown.

(5)No part of a special road shall be a restricted road for the purposes of the said section 71 on or after such date as may be declared by a notice published by the highway authority, in manner prescribed for the publication of notices under section 1(7) of this Act, to be the date on which it is open for use as a special road.

(6)In this section " classified road "—

(a)in relation to England and Wales, means a highway which for the time being is classified by the Minister under section 27(2) of the Local Government Act 1966 as a principal road for the purposes of advances under section 235 of the Highways Act 1959 or as a classified road for the purposes of, or for purposes which include the purposes of, this section ;

(b)in relation to Scotland, means a road which for the time being is classified by the Secretary of State under section 28(2) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1966 as a principal road for the purposes of advances under section 8 of the Development and Road Improvement Funds Act 1909 or as a classified road for the purposes of, or for purposes which include the purposes of, this section ;

and in this subsection " the Minister" means, in relation to England exclusive of Monmouthshire, the Minister and, in relation to Wales and Monmouthshire, the Secretary of State.

73Provisions as to directions under s. 72

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section and of section 82 of this Act, the authority having power to give a direction under section 72(3) of this Act—

(a)as respects a trunk road, shall be the appropriate Minister;

(b)as respects a road, not being a trunk road, shall be the local authority.

(2)A direction given in a case falling within subsection (1)(a) above shall be given by means of an order made by the appropriate Minister after giving public notice of his intention to make an order.

(3)Subject to sections 84A, 84B and 84C of this Act, a direction given in a case falling within subsection (1)(b) above shall be given by means of an order made by the local authority.

74Speed limits on roads other than restricted roads

(1)Subject to sections 84A, 84B and 84C of this Act, the authority specified in subsection (2) below may, after giving public notice of their intention to make an order under this subsection as respects any road specified in the notice, make an order prohibiting, either generally or during periods specified in the order, the driving of motor vehicles on that road at a speed exceeding that specified in the order; and while such an order is in force as respects any road, that road shall not be a restricted road for the purposes of section 71 of this Act.

(2)Subject to section 82 of this Act, the authority having power to make an order under subsection (1) above—

(a)as respects a trunk road, shall be the appropriate Minister; and

(b)as respects a road, not being a trunk road, shall be the local authority.

(7)This section does not apply to any part of a special road which is open for use as a special road.

75Signs for indicating speed restrictions

(1)It shall be the duty of the competent authority—

(a)to erect and maintain the prescribed traffic signs in such positions as may be requisite in order to give effect to general or other directions given by the appropriate Minister 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 ; and

(b)to alter or remove traffic signs as may be requisite in order to give effect to such directions as aforesaid, either in consequence of the making of an order by the appropriate Minister or otherwise;

and if the authority make default in executing any works required for the performance of the duty imposed upon them by this subsection, the appropriate Minister may himself execute them; and the expense incurred by him in so doing shall be recoverable by him from the authority and, in England or Wales, shall be so recoverable summarily as a civil debt.

(2)In its application to a trunk road, subsection (1) above shall have effect with the omission of the words " in order to give effect to general or other directions given by the appropriate Minister" in paragraph (a), and the words from the beginning of paragraph (b) to the end of the subsection.

(3)Where no system of street lighting furnished by means of lamps placed not more than two hundred yards apart 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) above.

(4)In any proceedings for a contravention of section 71 of this Act, being proceedings relating to driving on a road provided with such a system of street lighting as is specified in subsection (3) above, 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 the said section 71 shall be evidence that the road is a restricted road for those purposes.

(5)In this section " the competent authority " means—

(a)as respects a trunk road, the appropriate Minister;

(b)as respects a road, not being a trunk road, the local authority.

(6)The power to give general directions under subsection (1) above shall be exercisable by statutory instrument.

76Provisions supplementary to ss. 71 to 75

(1)In sections 71 to 75 of this Act "road" means any length of road.

(2)In sections 73 to 75 of this Act " local authority "—

(a)in relation to a road in England or Wales means—

(i)in the case of a road in Greater London, the Greater London Council;

(ii)in the case of a road in a county borough or in a non-county borough having a population according to the last published census of over 20,000, the council of the borough ;

(iii)in the case of a road in an urban district having such a population as aforesaid, the council of the district;

(iv)in the case of a road in a non-county borough not having such a population as aforesaid, in an urban district not having such a population, or in a rural district, the council of the county in which it is situated;

(b)in relation to a road in Scotland, means the county or town council responsible for the maintenance and management of the road.

(3)A county council in Scotland shall, before arriving at a decision as to the exercise of any power conferred on them by sections 72, 73, 74 and 75 of this Act with regard to a classified road in a burgh, consult with the town council of the burgh.

In this subsection " classified road " has the meaning assigned to it by section 72(6)(b) of this Act except that for the reference therein to that section there shall be substituted a reference to this section.

77Temporary speed limits and continuation thereof

(1)Where it appears to the appropriate Minister desirable to do so in the interests of safety or for the purpose of facilitating the movement of traffic, he may, after giving public notice of his intention to do so, by order prohibit, for a period not exceeding eighteen months, the driving of motor vehicles—

(a)on all roads, or on all roads in any area specified in the order, or on all roads of any class so specified, or on all roads other than roads of any class so specified, or on any road so specified, at a speed greater than that so specified,

(b)on any road specified in the order, at a speed less than that so specified, subject to such exceptions as may be so specified,

either generally, or at times, on days or during periods specified in the order; but the provisions of any such order shall not, except in so far as may be provided by the order, affect the provisions of sections 71 to 74 of this Act.

(2)For the purposes of an order under subsection (1)(a) above roads may be classified by reference to any circumstances appearing to the appropriate Minister to be suitable for the purpose, including their character, the nature of the traffic to which they are suited or the traffic signs provided thereon.

(3)The provisions of any order under subsection (1) above may be continued, either indefinitely or for a specified period, by an order of the appropriate Minister made by statutory instrument, which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(5)Where by virtue of an order under this section a limit of speed is to be observed, then,—

(a)if it is to be observed on all roads, on all roads of any class specified in the order or on all roads other than roads of any class so specified, section 75 of this Act shall not apply in relation to that limit;

(b)if it is to be observed on all roads in any area and is indicated as respects the area as a whole by means of such traffic signs as are mentioned in the said section 75(1) at all points where roads lead into the area, the limit shall be taken for the purposes of subsection (3) of that section as so indicated with respect to all roads in the area.

(6)The first order to be made under subsection (1)(b) above shall not be made until a draft thereof has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(7)If a person drives a motor vehicle on a road in contravention of an order under subsection (1)(b) above he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £50; but a person shall not be liable to be convicted of driving as aforesaid solely on the evidence of one witness to the effect that in the opinion of the witness he was driving the vehicle at a speed less than that specified in the order.

(8)Any power conferred by this section to make an order includes power to vary or revoke such an order by a subsequent order.

(9)This section does not apply to any part of a special road which is open for use as a special road.

(10)In this section " road " means any length of road.

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