Senior police officer suggests fines will more than double this year
TfL is converting more of the road it controls to a 20 mph speed limit
Transport for London (TfL) is targeting one million speeding fines a year in London, according to a senior Metropolitan Police officer in charge of policing the roads.
Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens of the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, speaking at a meeting of the London Assembly transport committee on Tuesday, said TfL has “a clear position to get to a target of one million prosecutions a year for speeding”.
He said there were more than 360,000 prosecutions for speeding offences in London during 2021 and 263,000 during 2020.
Plans are in place to give 564 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in London the powers of traffic enforcement officers within “a few days”, the meeting was told.
The additional officers will be monitoring speed limits on London’s roads between 6am and 10pm to begin with as part of a renewed campaign of enforcement.
But Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, has said TfL’s goal is “not to get to however many prosecutions, the goal is to not enforce at all”.
Mr Norman said: “We need to do the enforcement, but we also need to talk about the enforcement so that it becomes [the norm]. Ultimately, I don’t want to enforce against anybody. I want people to drive at 20 miles an hour and be safe and protect people.”
He added that TfL and the Met have to “use the messaging” around enforcement to drive a change in behaviour among drivers and discourage speeding.
In March 2020, TfL introduced a 20 miles per hour speed limit on all the roads it manages within the central Congestion Charge zone. Public consultation took place last year to expand the lower speed limit to other roads around London.
Speaking on Tuesday, Chief Superintendent Ovens said a reduction in speed limits is welcome, as speeding is one of the “fatal four” – the four most common reasons for death on the roads which also include using a mobile phone, drink driving and not wearing a seat belt.
He said,“The faster you go, the more likely you are to injure someone and, equally, to injure them more seriously. So, the reduction in speed limits is welcome.”
But he added that a “default position” on speed limits in London would make it clearer for drivers to follow the law and consistently drive at a safe speed.
Joe Talora - Local Democracy Reporter
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January 13, 2022