Thursday, 16 February 2012

Call For Greater Police Powers To Enforce 20mph Zones

Leading Cambridge City Councillor, Tim Bick is calling for a national review to give the police greater powers to enforce 20mph speed limits.

He is urging Cambridge City Council to support the call to the government and the Association of Chief Police Officers as the council considers extending 20mph zones in the city.  

Cllr Bick, Executive Councillor for Community Safety wants consideration given to empower Police Community Support Officers to carry out speed controls to free up police officers for other duties.

He also wants to see option speed awareness courses available for those breaking a 20mph limit for the first time and speed cameras developed for 20mph zones.

Cllr Bick said: “The objective of slowing traffic down on residential roads is shared by many people. It brings greater safety and a better environment. We already have a number of 20mph limits within the city and the city council is currently considering whether to broaden these further.

"They shouldn't rest solely on enforcement, but enforcement does need to be an available tool. It is clear that as the public mood moves on this, the enforcement tools need to keep up in order for the police to continue to make the kind of contribution people would expect from them.

"Where 20mph limits get designated, it should be possible to enforce them drawing on the same approaches used for breaches of all other speed limits. And given the community-based element of 20mph limits, it would also seem appropriate to consider empowering PCSOs to carry out controls in order to make for more flexibility in the deployment of police numbers across the range of incidents they need to deal with."

Cllr Bick’s call comes in a motion to Cambridge City Council on February 23 which welcomes Cambridgeshire Police’s readiness to enforce speed limits and its extension of the fixed penalty notice system for 20mph zones.

His motion urges MPs and the Local Government Association to support and follow-up his call.

The full wording of Cllr Bick’s motion reads as follows:

Welcoming the Department of Transport's encouragement of local authorities which want to introduce 20mph limits, Council accepts that enforcement is only one of the tools which influence the success of such schemes. But it welcomes Cambridgeshire Constabulary's readiness to carry out enforcement and its extension of the fixed penalty notice system to the 20mph limits to do so. To further enhance the situation, it calls on the Government and ACPO to carry out a national review to optimise the tools and powers available for enforcement, to include:

Development of optional speed awareness courses for those breaching a 20mph limit for the first time, treating it like breaches of higher speed limits

The potential to deploy PCSOs to carry out speed controls

The specification of speed cameras suitable for areas of 20mph limits

Council calls on local MPs and representatives in the LGA to support and follow-up this call.