DRIVERS found to be exceeding a 20mph speed limit could soon be fined £130.
A first-of-its-kind speed enforcement trial has begun, being run by Wandsworth Council, which will see the them issue the fines rather than the police.
According to the council, once in force, motorists will be penalised if they exceed the speed limit on two busy residential roads in the borough, which are subject to numerous complaints from residents about speeding drivers.
The pilot scheme is going to work alongside existing Met Police speeding enforcement.
Council leader, Simon Hogg, said: “Speeding traffic is one of the biggest sources of complaints we receive from our residents.
“Ensuring drivers stick to the 20mph limit not only improves safety levels and encourages more people to walk or cycle, it helps reduce harmful emissions too.
“Until now, only the Metropolitan Police have had powers to enforce speed limits, but they tend to concentrate their resources on main roads and dual carriageways, whereas most of the complaints we receive are about people driving too fast along quieter residential streets. Our pilot scheme will focus on two residential roads where excessive speeds are known to be an issue.
“If judged a success, we will look to make it permanent and carry out enforcement in other parts of the borough where we know vehicle speeds are excessive.”
The scheme will start this month, and will last for eight months, using a ‘experimental traffic order’.
Offenders caught on camera could receive a penalty charge notice with a £130 fine. This will be reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days. Drivers will not be given points on their licence or made to attend a speed awareness course.
RAC road safety spokesperson, Simon Williams, said: “One of the biggest complaints about 20mph limits is the fact they are rarely enforced which leads to poor compliance. This scheme, on two stretches of road which currently have far too many speeders, has the potential to dramatically improve compliance which has to be a positive road safety step.
“While the thought of councils beginning to enforce speed limits instead of the police may be worrying to some, it could be just what’s needed to make 20mph limits more effective. We would, however, like to see those drivers who speed excessively referred to the police for prosecution as they present a much greater risk to pedestrian and cyclist safety.”
Should the pilot scheme be a success, councils elsewhere could follow up with their own.