Traffic police in Lancashire can and will prosecute drivers for breaching the county’s new 20mph speed limits, one of the force’s most senior officers has said.
But Assistant Chief Cons Andy Rhodes has told Lancashire County Council they prefer to use enforcement as a last resort – and are supporting the development of a speed awareness type course to tackle speeders who break the lower limit.
The police response was set out in a letter from ACC Rhodes to Jo Turton, Lancashire County Council’s executive director for environment.
It was written in response to a number of concerns from parish councils and residents about lack of enforcement around 20mph limits – and claims that police cannot enforce them.
It said: “We know that you have received a number of queries from town and parish councils regarding the enforcement of the 20mph speed limit areas.
“I can confirm that the 20mph speed limit areas are enforceable and the police can enforce them however our key aim is to achieve compliance with the limits rather than prosecution.
“Police enforcement resulting in prosecutions should only be considered when all other options have been exhausted.”
He said educating drivers was “a priority” and new driver education courses we due to begin last month with regard to a number of motoring offences, such as not wearing seat belts behind the wheel.
The letter added: “However at this time these courses are not deemed suitable for drivers breaching 20 mph limits.
“Therefore any driver found speeding in a 20 mph limit will be offered to option to pay £60 and accept 3 penalty points or elect for the case to be heard at court. This is under review and national consultation is currently ongoing and Lancashire Constabulary supports the development of such a course.”
The letter follows concerns raised by residents to the Evening Post in parts of Preston.
On one street in Fulwood, neighbours said the 20mph scheme, which has cost Lancashire County Council more than £9.3m to implement, was a “waste of money” without enforcement.
ACC Rhodes added that community roadwatch schemes, where residents man speed guns, campaigns with schools and Speed Indicator Devices are all being employed to try and slow people down.
Where these initiatives have not tackled concerns of speeding raised by residents, the police have agreed to consider taking necessary enforcement action,” he added.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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