Police asked to enforce speed limits in 20mph zones
- Credit: Suffolk Highways
Police are to be asked to enforce 20mph speed limits across Suffolk to enhance pedestrian safety.
The move follows Highway Code amendments which aim to place a greater emphasis on pedestrian safety, while new 20mph zones would only be introduced in areas which had community backing.
Suffolk County Council called for Suffolk Constabulary to "increase and prioritise enforcement activities across all speed limits (including 20mph) where there is clear evidence of significant non-compliance or an injury collision history, and ensure that all officers act in line with this policy".
Councillors said 20mph zones were introduced to reduce incidents of pedestrian injury from speeding vehicles and needed policing.
Councillor Caroline Page from the Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group put forward the motion, pointing to a recent amendment in the Highway Code that states all speed limit signs with a red circle should be enforced.
She said: “The new Highway Code has placed vulnerable road users at the top of its hierarchy to ensure they are safer on our roads. Yet for some, the concept of reducing speed to 20mph is somehow presented as an eccentric and impractical dream.”
Conservative cabinet member for operational highways, Paul West, urged motorists to be respectful of the communities they drive through by sticking to the speed limits.
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He added: “There will never be resources to enforce every speed limit on every road all of the time – that’s why we support the police putting more resources to it and equally being strategic with areas that are worse affected so we can enforce against a greater number of individuals.”
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said road safety was an important issue for the force which would continue to work with local communities to address areas of concern.
He said: “20mph zones are usually created with traffic calming measures in place which naturally control the speed of vehicles. However, if an officer witnesses speeding any zone they will take the action they think is reasonable at the time.
“We do have finite resources and we need to ensure our officers are located where they are needed most, however we will continue to support communities with speed watch initiatives and if issues persist in a particular area in a 20mph zone we can take enforcement action, although it cannot be dealt with by a ticket and has to be reported for prosecution.”