By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 14 January 2022 • 9:19
Whilst authorities say that speed and other cameras are a necessity in limiting accidents and congestion, those that oppose them will be horrified to hear that TFL is in fact targeting one million speeding fines a year.
The statement comes from Chief Superintendent Simon Ovens of the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, who was speaking at a meeting of the London Assembly transport committee on Tuesday. He said TFL has: “a clear position to get to a target of one million prosecutions a year for speeding.”
Continuing he said that there were more than 360,000 prosecutions for speeding offences in London during 2021 and 263,000 during 2020. He then added that plans are in place to give 564 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in London the powers of traffic enforcement officers within “a few days”.
According to Ovens, these officers will monitor speed limits between 6am and 10pm to begin with, as part of a renewed campaign of enforcement.
Reacting to the announcement, Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner said “TfL’s goal is“not to get to however many prosecutions, the goal is to not enforce at all.”
Mr Norman added: “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.”
According to Norman, the TFL and the Met have to “use the messaging” around enforcement to drive a change in behaviour among drivers and discourage speeding.
A 20 mile an hour limited was introduced by TFL on all the roads it manages within the central congestion charge zone in March 2020, with a consultation last year asking the public whether speed restrictions should be lowered on all other roads in London. It is not known what action will be taken as a result of the findings of this consultation.
Ovens has welcomed a reduction in speed limits but said that this is just one for the four most common reasons for death on the roads, the other three being using a mobile phone, drink driving and not wearing a seat belt.
He continued saying that a “default position” on speed limits in London would make it clearer for drivers to follow the law and to consistently drive at a safe speed.
The AA and other road user organisations have yet to comment however they are likely to find fault with the Met and TFL targeting speeding fines. Targets for fines have in the past been a thorny issue with many believing that such an approach is about the money rather than about enforcing the law to the benefit of road users.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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