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Enforcement of Speed Limits

Firstly - some realities

It is a fact of life that on just about every road where it is physically possible to exceed the speed limit, a percentage of drivers will do so. In fact on some roads the number of drivers who exceed the speed limit is greater, or even significantly greater, than the number who don't. Speeding is the most common form of lawbreaking in the country, practised by many thousands of people every day, but who lead conscientious and law-abiding lives in every other way. There is also a great likelihood that of those who make complaints about the speeding of other drivers, many will regularly exceed speed limits themselves.

However, while this may seem shocking, if action was to be taken to counter speeding at every location where complaints are received about it, other complaints would doubtless quickly follow that driving and access was being made unreasonably difficult. In addition, many journalists have printed articles in the press at national level giving examples of local authorities taking action which penalises "the poor motorist". This makes the position of the local authority very difficult, because these actions have almost invariably been taken as a result of complaints about driving and parking, and requests for action to combat it. In short, the local authority is often criticised when they don't take action, and criticised by others when they do. Sometimes they can be criticised for not doing enough while also being criticised for doing too much at exactly the same time.

Speed Limit Enforcement

This is a matter for the police, however it is often unrealistic to expect it to be very rigorous due to the need for police resources elsewhere. When the police do take action against speeding, it often attracts criticism from those who suggest that they should be spending their time tackling "more serious crimes".

Action by Fareham Borough Council

FBC have a number of Speed Limit Reminder (SLR) signs which flash the speed limit to drivers who are exceeding it. If there are indications that there are particularly large numbers of speeding drivers, this is communicated to the police for their own enforcement action.

How can I ask for a Speed Limit Reminder (SLR) sign?

These can be deployed upon request to and are normally on site for up to two weeks. They are generally not used for longer periods in order that their impact value is maximised, and they are also required in other locations. Their deployment can be repeated at a later date if appropriate.

Where can SLRs be sited?

SLR equipment is normally sited on lamp columns, so this should be borne in mind when making a request. It is also helpful to state a particular section of road where speeding is most concerning (eg. in relation to house numbers or side roads), and a direction of flow.

Can traffic calming be provided?

In many locations where traffic calming exists, there are requests to have it removed. Any features which cause traffic to slow down, can and often do lead to complaints about the constant noise of braking and accelerating outside people's houses. Requests for traffic calming therefore need to be considered in this context, as well as in the context of costs.

Community Speedwatch

The Police are pleased to work with and train local volunteers who are interested in keeping speeds down on any particular road. This is not a programme of speed enforcement, but it can lead to speeding drivers receiving warning letters. If the scheme at any particular location indicates that speeding is particularly commonplace, this can lead to actual enforcement action being taken through other Police resources. Further information is available on the Community speedwatch website External Hyperlink.

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