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On the road we may often see signs on how fast we can go on that road, but there is an ambiguity in all signs, in what frame is the sign saying? Hence, in a way, all road signs could be argued to be utter non sense unless the frame of reference in which the speed is taken is limited.

Has this defence ever been used in course? Does there exist provisions in any legal system to fix this legal loophole?

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    I think that would be a frivolous argument in court. Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 21:05
  • 5
    You would probably make the judge laugh. But that's not necessarily a good thing: youtu.be/EjADAwPw3Jg?t=46
    – kisspuska
    Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 21:13
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    You would be arguing that you weren’t going 50 mph in a 35 mph zone, but instead you were going several thousand mph in a 35 mph zone. I don’t think that would help.
    – Damila
    Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 22:18
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    I have no doubt that the defense has been used, and I have no doubt that it has failed every time.
    – bdb484
    Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 23:01
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    It should be pretty clear that the frame of reference is that of the speed limit sign and the asphalt.
    – forest
    Commented Jul 4, 2021 at 3:18

1 Answer 1

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I do not know whether anyone has ever tried it, but it would not take much for a judge to conclude that the only reasonable interpretation of a speed limit sign is that the speed is to be measured relative to the surface of the road or to any other object that is stationary in that frame of reference.

Does there exist provisions in any legal system to fix this legal loophole?

Most rules for interpreting legal texts fix "loopholes" of this sort by providing for the consideration only of interpretations that are reasonably likely to have been intended, or that a reasonable person might arrive at. The interpretation that the speed limit could be measured against any frame of reference (or indeed any one other than that of the Earth's surface) is not reasonable.

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