How will the new 20mph speed limit law work?

time:2023-06-10 02:26:20source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center4

Drivers getting behind the wheel in Wales will soon have to limit their speed to 20mph in built up areas such as village and town centres.

The lower speed limit has already been introduced in some places, where the speed limit used to be 30mph.

On Tuesday, the Senedd voted to make Wales the first part of the UK to adopt 20mph as the default speed limit on restricted roads.

It's due to start in 2023 - but how will it work?

Questions being asked include: who will police it, what happens if you are caught speeding and how much will the fine be?

Here we try our best to answer your queries.

The 20mph limit would come into force for all restricted roads.

These are defined as roads that have lampposts placed not more than 200 yards apart.

They are typically located in residential and built-up areas of high pedestrian activity.

The new law to make Wales the first nation to impose 20mph as the default on all restricted roads was passed by the Welsh Parliament in a vote on Tuesday.

The proposal was given the go-ahead by 39 votes to 15, after initial backing in the Senedd two years ago.

The new 20mph limit is expected to come into force in September 2023.

The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 says that it is not lawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle on a restricted road at a speed exceeding 30mph. That will be amended to 20mph.

The Welsh government has said it has been working closely with the police to develop an enforcement strategy.

Currently, the minimum penalty for speeding is £100 fine and three points added to your licence.

Receiving 12 or more points within three years may disqualify you from driving.

If you are caught by a speed camera, depending on the speed, you will be sent an option for a speed awareness course, a fixed penalty notice or a letter telling you to go to court.

If you are stopped by the police they can give you a verbal warning, send you a fixed penalty notice, offer a speed awareness course or order you to go to court.

The Welsh government has acknowledged the new lower limit may not be appropriate everywhere and has said local authorities can make exceptions, though not outside schools.

The cost of bringing it in has been estimated £33m.

But the Welsh government claim that improved road safety and a reduction in average speeds could result in a £58m saving over 30 years because of reduced emergency service demand and subsequent hospital treatment.

The Welsh government has said the direct financial cost of the policy falls "almost entirely on the Welsh government", which is funding the capital works carried out by the local authorities through grants.

Latest police data shows the largest proportion - exactly half - of the 5,570 people hurt in collisions in Wales happened on 30mph roads and in more than 40% of them, someone was killed or seriously injured.

Campaigners argue the chances of someone surviving being hit by a car at 20mph rather than 30mph is seven times higher while stopping distances are almost halved.

Ministers in Cardiff have been promoting sustainable travel - such as cycling or walking - after Wales declared a climate emergency in 2019 and aim to become carbon net zero by 2050.

They think a lower limit might encourage a change in behaviour.

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