A pensioner couple concerned about speeding in the quiet village where they live fell foul of authorities after erecting a fake road sign saying "Slow – Heaven is full!".
The sign on Wooton Lane, Lympstone, was put up by George and Mary Truell on the road which is used as a "rat-run" between nearby Exmouth and the main road to Exeter.
Highways bosses say the sign is illegal and the lane's speed limit is 60mph. They've written to the Truells ordering the sign be taken down.
But the Truells said they were refusing to remove it because it was on their land and they wanted to prevent accidents.
The sign, paid for by the Truells' son, was put up after they said they had had difficulty crossing the road because of speeding traffic.
Mary Truell, 84, said: "People just drive too fast. We know we live on a lane and we accept the idea it has a lot of traffic on it. But speed is completely unnecessary and there could be bad accidents."
Her husband George, 86, who served as a soldier for 40 years, added: "Lympstone has been trying to get a lower speed limit in place for years. There are many pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, livestock and even the Royal Marines that use that lane regularly."
A spokesman for Devon County Council said the highway authority was trying to establish whether the sign was on public or private land before taking action, but wanted the sign removed.