Could your local council start fining you £130 for breaking 20mph speed limits?

Could your local council start fining you £130 for breaking 20mph speed limits?
A first of its kind speed enforcement trial has begun in England, where drivers exceeding a 20mph speed limit will receive a £130 fine.

Wandsworth Council announced the trial, which will see the them issue the fines rather than the local police.

According to the council, once in force, motorists will be penalised if they exceed the speed limit on two busy residential roads in the borough – Wimbledon Park Road and Priory Lane.

Both areas are subject to numerous complaints from local people about excessive vehicle speeds. A recent study into the area found that between 20-25% of motorists broke the 20mph limit.

The pilot scheme is going to work alongside existing Met Police speeding enforcement.

Council leader Cllr Simon Hogg said: “Speeding traffic is one of the biggest sources of complaints we receive from our residents. Ensuring drivers stick to the 20mph limit not only improves safety levels and encourages more people to walk or cycle, it helps reduce harmful emissions too.

“Until now, only the Metropolitan Police have had powers to enforce speed limits, but they tend to concentrate their resources on main roads and dual carriageways, whereas most of the complaints we receive are about people driving too fast along quieter residential streets.

“Our pilot scheme will focus on two residential roads where excessive speeds are known to be an issue.

“If judged a success, we will look to make it permanent and carry out enforcement in other parts of the borough where we know vehicle speeds are excessive.”

The scheme will start this month, and will last for eight months, using a ‘experimental traffic order’.

Offenders caught on camera could receive a penalty charge notice with a £130 fine. This will be reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days.

Drivers will not be given points on their licence or made to attend a speed awareness course.

According to Wandsworth Council, the money raised from the pilot scheme will be reinvested into local road safety initiatives.

RAC road safety spokesperson Simon Williams said: “One of the biggest complaints about 20mph limits is the fact they are rarely enforced which leads to poor compliance. This scheme, on two stretches of road which currently have far too many speeders, has the potential to dramatically improve compliance which has to be a positive road safety step.

“While the thought of councils beginning to enforce speed limits instead of the police may be worrying to some, it could be just what’s needed to make 20mph limits more effective. Arguably, fining people with penalty charge notices instead of immediately issuing fixed penalty notices and putting points on licences could be a fairer way of dealing with the problem, particularly as so many drivers tell us they find it hard to drive at 20mph.

“We would, however, like to see those drivers who speed excessively referred to the police for prosecution as they present a much greater risk to pedestrian and cyclist safety. Consideration should also be given to those who regularly break the limit as it would be very wrong if more affluent drivers continued to disregard 20mph limits just because they can easily afford to pay the fines.”

Should the pilot scheme be a success, councils in London and elsewhere across the UK could follow up with their own speed enforcement trials.

Do you believe this scheme will be a success? Would you like to see it introduced nationwide? Leave your comments below.

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