20mph limits in residential streets

Harrythedog

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I've noticed over the past few months that a great number of streets in my area have been designated as 20mph zones, all the relevant signs and road markings being put in place by my local (extremely hard up council). A couple of weeks ago a saw a small white car, a Smart I think, with a speed enforcement type camera on it's roof a speed camera sign on both doors. Lo and behold on Thursday I saw the same vehicle driving around with the local Council's logo emblazoned on it. Has speeding in local areas been decriminalised? Can anyone shed any light on this as it's all news to me
 

gina2201

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We have what sounds like the vehicle you describe in Plymouth. It's a Vauxhall Corsa with what looks like a google camera on top but has council written on it, but I thought it was to spot whether someone had no tax?
 

Benzmanc

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the camera on the car needs to be type approved to be able to prosecute speeding offences, the type approval will be available from the council under the data protection act, if no such approval exists then the camera cannot be used for speed offences but only for cctv monitoring and issuing fixed penaltys for parking, contravening bus lanes etc

Daz
 
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Harrythedog

Harrythedog

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That's what I thought Daz, and I haven't seen any notifications to suggest otherwise other than the notices placed on numerous lampposts advising of a change in the speed restrictions. It just seems a bit odd that the council are spending a lot of money on these schemes, the vast majority on streets that have never, to my knowledge, had any tragic problems.
It's probably just my suspicious nature but we motorists have been a cash cow for governments over a number of years and perhaps the Local Councils are trying to jump on the bandwagon.
 
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Harrythedog

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Gina2201

I thought road tax issues were dealt with by the Police not local councils
 
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MOCAŠ

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It just seems a bit odd that the council are spending a lot of money on these schemes, the vast majority on streets that have never, to my knowledge, had any tragic problems.
It's probably just my suspicious nature but we motorists have been a cash cow for governments over a number of years and perhaps the Local Councils are trying to jump on the bandwagon.

Thank goodness you have it within your power to avoid having to pay them a single penny in speeding fines.

On the other hand, if they really are cash-strapped, perhaps you should take up speeding as a public service...
 

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As far as I am aware , speeding offences are only dealt with by either the police or 'safety camera partnerships ' .

You could always just send in a 'freedom of information' request to your local council or police force and just ask them what the function of this vehicle is .

Take care with the 20 zones - some are full time , some part time - only when lights flash ; some are advisory ( at least certainly used to be ) , the actual limit is still 30 while others are enforceable .
 

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Portsmouth city council were the first to introduce the 20 mph limit in residential areas a few years ago but the police won't enforce it and the council have been arguing with them about it ever since . I think there is some legal reason behind the argument ?
 

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I thought 20 mph zones were unenforceable because car speedometers were not considered accurate enough at low speeds.

Many residential streets round us have them, a lot are small cul-de-sacs though where nobody would ever get near 20 mph so the signs and road-painting seem a bit OTT.
 

st13phil

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I thought 20 mph zones were unenforceable because car speedometers were not considered accurate enough at low speeds.
Nope, they're enforceable. Also there is a difference between 20mph zones which are required to have "traffic calming" measures in place including any or all of humps, cushions and chicanes, and 20mph limits which have to have regular repeater signs.

Oxford City Council have been busily introducing 20mph limits all over the place over the last few months and they are a royal PITA. It's also worth noting that getting reported for 35mph or above in a 20mph limit will guarantee a court appearance, a minimum of 4 points on your licence and a possibility of a 7-28 day ban.
 

E CLASS

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20mph limits are a great thing - they are about protecting people in an urban environment where children are most likely to be present.

The speeds some nutters drive in residential streets makes my blood boil.

When your child is hit at 40mph in a 20mph zone it'll make sense as to why they are there. (thankfully I have not been affeceted by this just an example)
 

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First; the smart car camera cars are becoming common throughout the uk although other makes are seen as well, they are not as common.

second; the cameras have to be calibrated and certified at "reasonable" time intervals, this used to be before each shift and it was common practice to get speeding offences scrapped because the police vehicle hadn't been calibrated, however the high court ruled this impractical many years ago.
However a number of police areas had to abandon thousands of ticket because the vehicles were not properly marked and were not "signed" visibly enough.

lastly a little tale:
for many years I was a BMF motorcycle instructor in my "spare" time, we trained a lot of coppers to ride either for recreation or so they could do the police motorcycle training.

The town where we worked introduced a large 20 zone "to protect children" after 6 months the local force looked at their road safety figures.

The number of car vs pedestrian accidents in the 20 zone fell about 30% HOWEVER the overall number of child vs vehicle figures rose considerably, so they looked deeper.

In the rest of the town, outside the 20 zone, more kids were hit because they no longer did "the green cross code" or whatever and walked out in front of cars etc..... the reason - they didn't have to look where they lived (in the 20 zone) so didn't look elsewhere

In the 20 zone motorcycle vs child accidents trebled, this type of accident had always been rare because motorcyclist are more vulnerable and therefore more observant (generally); HOWEVER in the 20 zone they were concentrating on going over the speed humps and chicanes and not looking for kids.

The figures for kids who lived outside the 20 zone didn't change from before the zone was introduced, wherever the accidents occured.

We laughed loudly with the boys in blue we trained but the reports never saw the general population - wonder why?
 

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20mph limits are a great thing - they are about protecting people in an urban environment where children are most likely to be present.

Thats the theory but they put daft 20mph limits in places where 30mph was too low anyway.

The whole of Richmond park is now a 20mph zone and I remember when it was a 40. Traffic still continues to flow at 35, same as its always done.

They are talking about blanket 20mph limits now in London which is just plain stupid.

The people that charge around driving recklessly in 20 zones will still continue to do so because they are probably driving outside of the law anyway.

Meanwhile Mr and Mrs average considerate driver who drive sensibly and according to the conditions will likely get hit with points and a fine because instead of concentrating on their speedo they concentrated on the road conditions and drove accordingly.

How many of us now drive down roads where new speed limits have been put in place? It irks me that a road I drove down safetly every day, twice a day at 60mph is now a 40 limit and at 60mph i'm running a risk of getting a dangerous driving conviction.
 

E CLASS

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What???

Kids didn't need to look when crossing roads in a 20mph zone so they didn't elsewhere.

Sorry but if you are crossing a road anywhere you look before you cross thats what all kids are told is it not?

Never heard anything so barmy!
 

E CLASS

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How many of us now drive down roads where new speed limits have been put in place? It irks me that a road I drove down safetly every day, twice a day at 60mph is now a 40 limit and at 60mph i'm running a risk of getting a dangerous driving conviction.

Because thats the law - if you do 60 then who's to blame??

There must be a good reason for it or a pre-emptive strike on something happening.
 

st13phil

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Portsmouth city council were the first to introduce the 20 mph limit in residential areas a few years ago but the police won't enforce it and the council have been arguing with them about it ever since . I think there is some legal reason behind the argument ?
There's been an ongoing saga over this because the national guideline from ACPO is that there should not be routine enforcement by camera vans for a 20mph limit which Portsmouth city council don't like.

The latest development is that the council intend to take Hampshire Police to court to force the issue :rolleyes:
 

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I go to work at 5am in the morning, what children are out then ? So if these 20 mile limits are for safety should they not be for times during the day only !
 

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One good thing about 20mph limits is that fewer motorists drive over 30mph. We have one near me in Cricklade. I often look down at speedo and see 28-30. Oops. But when it was 30 that could easily be 35. I know both are wrong but the point I am making is they do slow down traffic.
 

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