Image: Go Safe (@GoSafeCymru) via Twitter.
All four Welsh police forces will use a week-long enforcement campaign to highlight the ‘importance of sticking to the speed limit’ – particularly where the limit is 20mph.
The enforcement week, which got underway yesterday (26 June), has been organised by the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, Go Safe, as part of its #20mphrule outside school campaign. It is supported by the Welsh Government.
In South Wales, police officers will be working to educate and enforce 20mph limits – especially around schools and other areas of community interest.
Chief inspector Daryl Fahey, South Wales Police, says 20mph zones are an ‘important and vital’ means of protecting the most vulnerable.
During the equivalent campaign last year, police forces across Wales caught more than 1,000 drivers driving in excess of the limit in a 20mph zone.
Chief inspector Daryl Fahey said: “Drivers need to be aware that if they exceed the speed limit they are committing an offence. Our week of enforcement will target those speeding, but of course we expect motorists to follow the limit at all times.
“Driving in excess of the speed limit within a 20mph zone, significantly increases the probability of causing injury or worse to our most vulnerable.”
Teresa Healy, operations manager, GoSafe said: “Our speed reduction officers will be out in all four police forces throughout the campaign and we would encourage communities to engage with them and find out more about what we do.
“Any drivers caught speeding, and who are eligible, will be offered a specialised driver education course focused on 20mph speed limits which are designed to educate them about the risks of speeding in 20mph limits.”
The first 20mph speed limit was introduced in the UK in 1991 and since then they have widely been adopted by local authorities as a traffic calming measure and a way of reducing the impact of motor vehicles within communities.
In Scotland a Private Member’s Bill is currently out for consultation which would see 20mph become the default limit in urban areas across the country.
There are also two current research studies into the effectiveness of 20mph limits – one being carried out by Atkins on behalf of the DfT, with results anticipated at the end of this year/early 2018, and the other by the University of Edinburgh with results in around four years’ time.