Real Classic - - Letters -

In RC158, Meuryn Howell asks if a ve­hi­cle does not have a speedome­ter whether this is a le­gal get out if caught speeding. As Rowena rightly said, the short an­swer is no. Is it an of­fence not to have a speedome­ter fit­ted? The an­swer is both yes and no, as some ve­hi­cle are ex­empt. Here’s the rel­e­vant pas­sage from the Road Ve­hi­cles (Con­struc­tion and Use) Reg­u­la­tions 1986.

Save as pro­vided in para­graphs (2) and (3), ev­ery mo­tor ve­hi­cle shall be fit­ted with a speedome­ter which, if the ve­hi­cle is first used on or after 1st April 1984, shall be ca­pa­ble of in­di­cat­ing speed in both miles per hour and kilo­me­tres per hour, ei­ther si­mul­ta­ne­ously or, by the op­er­a­tion of a switch, sep­a­rately.

This does not ap­ply to:

a ve­hi­cle hav­ing a max­i­mum speed not ex­ceed­ing 25mph; a ve­hi­cle which it is at all times un­law­ful to drive at more than 25mph; an agri­cul­tural mo­tor ve­hi­cle which is not driven at more than 20mph; a mo­tor cy­cle first used be­fore 1st April 1984 the engine of which has a cylin­der ca­pac­ity not ex­ceed­ing 100cc; an in­valid car­riage first used be­fore 1st April 1984; a works truck first used be­fore 1st April 1984; a ve­hi­cle first used be­fore 1st Oc­to­ber 1937; or

a ve­hi­cle equipped with record­ing equip­ment marked with a mark­ing des­ig­nated as an ap­proval mark by reg­u­la­tion 5 of the Ap­proval Marks Reg­u­la­tions and shown at item 3 in Sched­ule 4 to those Reg­u­la­tions (whether or not the ve­hi­cle is re­quired to be equipped with that equip­ment) and which, as re­gards the visual in­di­ca­tions given by that equip­ment of the speed of the ve­hi­cle, com­plies with the re­quire­ments re­lat­ing to the said in­di­ca­tions and in­stal­la­tions spec­i­fied in the Com­mu­nity Record­ing Equip­ment Reg­u­la­tion.

My BSA was dis­patched from the fac­tory on 21st July 1937 so un­less the dealer ordered (and paid ex­tra for) one he wouldn’t have got a speedome­ter, and it still doesn’t have one. John Lay, mem­ber 3626

I am sure that Rowena an­swered a ques­tion that was not asked in the let­ter from Meuryn Howell. She is cor­rect that the non-fit­ment of a speedome­ter would not be a de­fence to an of­fence of ex­ceed­ing the speed limit. How­ever she then out­lines the of­fence of fail­ing to have a speedome­ter to which, un­less the reg­u­la­tions have re­cently changed, there are a num­ber of ex­emp­tions as fol­lows.

Reg­u­la­tions 35 and 36 of Road Ve­hi­cles (Con­struc­tion and Use) Reg­u­la­tions 1986 ex­empt cer­tain ve­hi­cles from the re­quire­ment to be fit­ted with a speedome­ter:

1. Max­i­mum speed of 25mph 2. Un­law­ful to drive at more than 25mph 3. Agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cle not driven at more than 20mph 4. Mo­tor­cy­cle first used be­fore 1/4/84 not ex­ceed­ing 100cc 5. In­valid car­riage first used be­fore 1/4/84. Note: a blue Greeves In­vacar is not an in­valid car­riage as de­fined un­der the Acts, think more of a mo­bil­ity scooter or Bath chair 6. Works truck first used be­fore 1/4/84 7. Ve­hi­cle first used be­fore 1/10/37 8. Ve­hi­cle fit­ted with ap­proved record­ing equip­ment in­di­cat­ing the speed

Just to head off the hoary old ca­nard that you need to have a work­ing speedome­ter for the MoT, it is not a testable item even if re­quired by law. You will get an MoT but still be com­mit­ting the of­fence un­less ex­empt as above. Nick Crook, mem­ber 1342

I think we all need a nice lie down now. Maybe a cup of tea. FrankW

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