But how will it be enforced?

The Police are the experts in law enforcement and they have a duty to enforce all speed limits including 20 mph. Many people have expressed concern about lack of enforcement with regards speeding in urban areas and other anti-social driving. 20’s Plenty for Worthing would strongly support greater resources being made available to help the Police address the communities’ concerns about excessive speed on residential streets.

Lack of enforcement is not an argument against 20 mph limits

The evidence is clear that 20 mph is the right speed limit for residential streets where people and vehicles mix, and that in places where 20 mph limits have been introduced, average speeds have fallen despite Police resource constraints (see our page on this here). Reducing the numbers of collisions, road deaths and injuries will help reduce the workload for road policing.

The Association of Chief Police Officers recently revised their guidance, including on 20 mph limits. Under the new guidelines it makes clear:

1. The Police service now uses technology that enables it to prove an offence has been committed as soon as a driver exceeds the relevant speed limit by a very small margin. You are therefore at risk of prosecution immediately that you exceed any legal speed limit including 20 mph.

2. Any motorist caught driving between 24mph and 31mph in a 20 mph limit would either face a fixed penalty or may be offered a speed awareness course.

3. Any motorist caught driving above 35 mph in a 20 mph limit would face a court summons

4. Any motorist caught driving above 40 mph in a 20 mph limit would face a possible ban of up to 28 days, up to £1000 fine + 6 points

Fortunately the majority of motorists do obey speed limits. The 20’s Plenty for Worthing campaign is working to raise awareness of the very real risks of exceeding limits in residential streets. We are not asking for speed humps – they are expensive and often disliked by drivers and cyclists. Instead the campaign aims to raise awareness that a majority of people would like to see slower speeds in residential streets.

This would make a real difference to the safety of our children, older people, cyclists and indeed drivers. Once drivers understand this, and the fact that slowing down makes almost no difference to overall journey times, then the likelihood is 20 mph will be accepted.

We need to change the social norm so that driving too fast in residential streets is seen as being as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.

The evidence

Association for Chief Police Officers (ACPO): Speed enforcement policy guidelines

Police Benefits from 20mph Limits