This sign has raked in $1.6 million in nine weeks. Picture: @LundunFeeldz/Twitter
This sign has raked in $1.6 million in nine weeks. Picture: @LundunFeeldz/Twitter

‘Unclear’ sign earning $25k a day in fines

A LONDON council has sparked outrage from local residents with an "unclear" road sign which has raked in nearly $1.6 million worth of fines in just over two months.

Hackney Council banned drivers from turning left from Mare St onto Richmond Rd in June to reduce traffic at a nearby school, Metro.co.uk reports.

By August 10, nearly 14,000 fines had been issued to motorists who either ignored or didn't see the sign. At $114.50 (£65) each, that works out to $1.58 million (£898,235) in nine weeks - $176,200 (£100,000) a week, or $24,700 (£14,000) a day.

One local resident said the no left turn was "poorly conveyed" judging by the number of fines and repeat fines issued, and was "definitely not in the spirit of the law, regardless of whether the signage meets the standard required or not".

"While some drivers will knowingly ignore streets signs like this, the vast majority wouldn't do so intentionally," RAC spokesman Rod Dennis told the paper.

The council banned drivers turning left at this junction.
The council banned drivers turning left at this junction.

 

Motorists say the road sign is too high. Picture: @LundunFeeldz/Twitter
Motorists say the road sign is too high. Picture: @LundunFeeldz/Twitter


"The number of fines being given to drivers at this junction suggests something is wrong - and it might well be that the sheer amount of signage and a difficult road layout is to blame. The sign is immediately after a busy pedestrian crossing and between two sections of bus lane on Mare St.

"A driver would have just moments to read all the traffic signs and decide whether they were permitted to turn left. And unlike on a straight section of road, they would have no opportunity to correct the manoeuvre if they then realised their mistake.

"We would like to see the council being innovative in introducing digital bus lane signage that makes it much clearer - perhaps by means of red and green LEDs - for motorists to see if they can use a certain stretch of road. A review of all the street signage around the junction would also be very welcome."

A Hackney Council spokesman said, "The changes to this junction are part of our pioneering school streets initiative which is improving air quality and making it easier and safer for families to walk and cycle to and from school.

"The notices already meet all Department for Transport requirements, and we have now added additional signage to ensure all drivers comply and help make our children's school journeys healthier.

"While it is the responsibility of drivers to read this signage and adhere to the road closures, we will of course listen to representations where a driver feels that a fine has been issued unfairly or received multiple fines during a short period."

Earlier this month, a Sydney journalist posted a viral photo on Twitter of what some dubbed the most confusing parking sign in Australia.

Before that came Australia's most useless road sign, not to be outdone by Sydney's craziest street sign comprising no fewer than 11 separate instructions.