ACPO has moved to clarify its position on 20mph speed limit enforcement after a senior police officer told the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) that forces around the country are not enforcing 20mph limits.
MPs were reportedly left astonished when Mark Milsom, assistant chief constable with West Yorkshire Police, disclosed that police had decided against enforcing the lower speed limit in residential areas.
In the letter to the APPCG, Suzette Davenport ACPO’s lead on roads policing, said: “We can clearly state that it is incorrect to say that police officers are not enforcing 20mph speed limits.
“20mph zones are predominantly introduced in residential areas where road safety has been raised as an issue by those who live locally. The approach of neighbourhood policing teams in every community is built around ensuring that local crime and disorder issues and concerns are identified, so that a police force delivers an appropriate policing response. This applies to enforcement of 20mph zones as to any other area of policing.
“Police and Crime Commissioners are now responsible for setting strategic policing priorities for each police force and in areas where 20mph zones are a local concern, may include enforcement within local policing plans.
“In most cases, 20 mph limits will follow DfT guidance* and include ‘road calming’ features such as speed bumps or traffic islands designed to slow traffic. Wherever possible, we agree with the DfT that 20mph zones should be ‘self‐enforcing’ through the use of such features.
“ACPO speed enforcement guidelines include thresholds for enforcement across all speed limits, intended to underpin a consistent policing approach. Within that framework local police forces will take a responsible and proportionate approach to enforcement of 20mph limits based on their assessment of risk to individuals, property and the seriousness of any breach. Where drivers are regularly and wilfully breaking the law we would expect that officers will enforce the limit and prosecute offenders.”
Click here to read the full ACPO letter to the APPCG.
*“The (DfT) guidance states: “Successful 20 mph zones and 20 mph speed limits are generally self‐enforcing, i.e. the existing conditions of the road together with measures such as traffic calming or signing, publicity and information as part of the scheme, lead to a mean traffic speed compliant with the speed limit. To achieve compliance there should be no expectation on the police to provide additional enforcement beyond their routine activity, unless this has been explicitly agreed.