You thought you were keeping within in the law regarding driving on the roads and the speeding limits that are set. But have you been driving for that long that you’ve forgotten some of the road rules – or has a discussion in the pub led you to believe that the highway code has rules that you’ve just made up?

We’ve listed common driving offences that may just make you think twice:

1. There were no signs indicating a 30mph speed limit and therefore I can’t be prosecuted for speeding!

Wrong! If a road has a system of street lighting with street lamps placed no more than 200yrds (183m) apart, it is automatically a restricted road with a 30mph speed limit. The only time when signage is required for a 30mph speed limit is where a speed limit changes along a road e.g. the speed reduces from 50mph to 30mph and where a road with a higher speed limit joins a road with the lesser limit. A sign may also be used to indicate a new 30mph speed limit but not for longer than 6 months.

2. There was no sign warning about the use of a speed camera and so I can’t be prosecuted for speeding!

Wrong! There is no legal requirement that a speed camera (fixed or mobile) must be used in conjunction with warning signs, although from a road safety perspective this must be considered to be good practice.

3. I was only travelling a couple of miles an hour over the speed limit – I can’t be prosecuted!

Wrong! The Association of Chief Police Officers Guidance on enforcement gives guidance that people should not normally be prosecuted for if they exceed the speed limit by 10% + 2 miles per hour e.g. in a 30mph speed limit the prosecution threshold would be 35mph. This is guidance however, and you may be prosecuted within the discretion of the officer provided that he acts consistently, proportionately and fairly.

4. The officer was not wearing a high-viz jacket at the side of the road when using a hand held laser – I can’t be prosecuted!

Wrong! There is guidance provided to officers that for health and safety reasons they should wear high-viz when operating speed detection equipment at the roadside, however any failure to do so would not render any measurement of speed unreliable or mean that you couldn’t be prosecuted.

5. The picture taken by the speed camera doesn’t show the driver and so they can’t prove it was me!

Wrong! The photographic evidence produced by fixed site cameras is solely to confirm the speed of the vehicle. It is not to identify the driver. It is the duty of the registered keeper of the offending vehicle to identify the driver of the vehicle (or of any other person to give information that it is in their power to give) and if they do not they will be prosecuted for failing to provide information which attracts a fine of up to £1000 and 6 penalty points!

6. There must be two police officers in the car in order for me to be prosecuted!

Wrong! It is correct that for most speeding offences (save on motorways) a police officers opinion that a person is travelling in excess of the speed limit must be corroborated (confirmed by a second source), however this corroboration doesn’t need to be from a person and can simply be by way of the officer confirming his opinion of your speed by looking at his speedometer.

7. I can’t be prosecuted for speeding unless the police officers speedometer was calibrated!

Wrong! If the officer uses an un-calibrated speedometer to corroborate his opinion of your speed and to give confirmation of your speed it is still evidence of your speed. If the speedometer has not been calibrated, there may however, be an argument that his opinion of your speed is unreliable, particularly if you are only marginally above the speed limit.

8. The police officer spelt my name wrong or wrote down the wrong colour of my car – this is a technicality and I can’t be prosecuted!

Wrong! Such errors might give grounds to challenge the evidence of the officer as being unreliable – after all, how can you trust someone who doesn’t even get the colour of the car right? It does not however, provide any immediate technical defence and in many cases the officer will simply correct his evidence, say that it was an oversight and the court still convicts.

9. They have no evidence, they don’t have the offence on video, its just what the officer says!

Wrong! Video evidence is not required for a person to be prosecuted. The evidence of a police officer that you have done an illegal act can be sufficient for you to be prosecuted if the court believe the officer’s evidence.

10. If I change lanes when driving between average speed cameras I can’t be prosecuted!

Wrong! This one of the biggest myths of them all. When the use of these devices was first approved by the Home Office, their use was limited to detecting speed within a single lane and therefore this technique could work. Unfortunately, for those who now do this believing that their speed cannot be detected, the authorisation of this device has now been extended to include coverage over multiple lanes. This means that no matter how much you change lanes you can still be prosecuted!

Bonus Myth – 11. There are lots of loopholes that can help me get away with motoring offences!

Wrong! This is a very common misconception. There is no such thing as a “loophole” there is just the law. If you commit an offence you will often be convicted of it, however this is subject to the prosecution (Crown Prosecution Service) proving its case and a good motoring lawyer may be able to take advantage of this.

Author Bio: Motoring expert Lucia (follow on Google+) writes for various motoring publications. For driving offence solicitors she recommends Caddick Davies.