A London municipality will begin imposing £130 speeding fines to drivers who exceed 20 mph, as motorists fear being taken advantage of by local authorities.
Next week, Wandsworth Council will launch a pilot program that allows it to issue fines to vehicles who violate the 20 mph speed limit in residential areas – routes that often have fewer fixed cameras and mobile patrols by the Metropolitan Police.
The new authority, which will remain for up to eight months, will allow the council to keep the £130 fine instead of sending it to the federal government.
If considered successful, it may be implemented throughout London, where approximately 50 percent of streets have a 20 mph speed limit.
Under the program, drivers will not receive three points on their license or be required to attend a speed awareness training.
Wandsworth will begin issuing £130 fines for exceeding the 20 mph speed limit. File image
According to the AA, speeding should not be treated as a parking ticket.
A spokeswoman for the Evening Standard stated that speeding enforcement should not be used as “fishing trips” for councils to acquire funds.
Joe Ventre, from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, also told the newspaper, “Drivers will be properly anxious that speeding fines will be used more to fill municipal coffers than to maintain roads safe.”
In addition, he stated that the expense of operating the pilot should not impose an additional financial burden on taxpayers.
Priory Lane in Roehampton and Wimbledon Park Road are two residential areas where homeowners have complained about speeding motorists. The council, which is governed by the Labour party, is taking action.
The first is frequented by bikers traveling between Roehampton and Richmond Park, while the second leads to the renowned tennis courts.
According to studies conducted in both regions, one in four motorists violate the speed limit on Priory Lane and one in five do so on Wimbledon Park Road.
Simon Hogg, the head of Wandsworth Council, stated that speeding is one of the greatest issues among locals.
If the pilot is proven successful, it might be implemented throughout London, where around half of the streets have a 20 mph speed limit. File image
He told the Evening Standard, “If deemed a success, we would aim to make it permanent and implement enforcement in other areas of the borough where we know vehicle speeds are excessive.”
All roads within London’s congestion charge zone have a 20mph speed limit, which is considered the “default” speed limit across the majority of the city’s 33 boroughs.
Transport for London said that by March of next year, an additional 17 kilometers of roads in Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, and Tower Hamlets will have the same speed restriction.
The experimental program will reduce the punishment from £130 to £65 if paid within two weeks. Drivers will receive warning letters in the first few weeks to make them aware of the changes.
Greg Wilson, creator of the auto insurance comparison website Quotezone, told the Evening Standard that drivers may have greater success contesting a speeding penalty issued by a council since police forces have traffic surveillance equipment and experience that councils may lack.
London Councils, a cross-party group representing the boroughs of the city, authorized the distribution of the fines.
According to Wandsworth Council, the money will be utilized to improve road safety in the borough.
Councils have the authority to penalise motorists who stop in yellow box intersections, drive in bus lanes, make prohibited turns, and drive in low-traffic neighborhoods and other restricted zones.
Transport Department was approached for comment.