More speedguns to help enforce Brighter Borough’s 20mph speed limit
Published: Monday 22nd October 18
To help local police enforce the borough’s 20mph speed limit in residential areas, the council is purchasing two speedguns which will be used by officers in the Met to ensure drivers keep their speed in check.
The speedguns will be used in areas where residents have expressed concerns about excessive vehicle speeds and also at ‘Community Roadwatch’ initiatives where local residents, neighbourhood watch groups and other community groups work together to encourage drivers to stick to the 20mph limit.
A borough-wide 20 mph speed limit was introduced in Wandsworth just over a year ago.
Cllr Cook joined police at a recent Community Roadwatch exercise
This lower limit applies in all of Wandsworth’s quieter residential backstreets and neighbourhoods and is designed to make local roads safer and also encourage other forms of sustainable transport like cycling and walking.
Accidents involving collisions between pedestrians and vehicles are three times less likely to be fatal if the speed of the impact is 20mph compared to 30mph.
Studies have shown that at 30mph, 55 per cent of collisions result in pedestrian fatalities while at 20mph this figure drops dramatically to just 17 per cent.
As well as being safer and encouraging other healthier modes of transport, slowing vehicle speeds reduces noise levels and helps improve air quality.
The lower limit now applies in all the borough’s quiet side streets but is unchanged on the borough’s busier main roads.
The change was made following a detailed public consultation. In total 59 per cent of residents who took part supported lower speeds in residential streets, while 64 per cent agreed the limit should not be reduced on main roads.
Cllr Cook: We must continue to encourage this good behaviour by carrying out regular enforcement
Research carried out earlier this year also found that four out of five motorists were complying with the 20mph limit.
Police-led speed gun checks on nearly 7,000 vehicles showed that more than 80 per cent were sticking to lower speed limits and helping keep Wandsworth streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers.
During the course of these “Community Roadwatch” events police and residents used speedguns to check how fast 6,945 vehicles were travelling. Of these 5,614 were complying with the new limit.
Transport spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “The evidence suggests that the vast majority of drivers are complying with the lower limit where it applies, which is very encouraging.
“However we cannot be complacent and we must continue to encourage this good behaviour by carrying out regular enforcement.
“This is why we are playing our part by purchasing two additional speedguns. This will mean the police are able to conduct more checks on vehicles and ensure a faster response to complaints from residents concerned about excess speeds in their neighbourhoods.”
Cllr Cook added: “We hope that improving safety levels will encourage people to leave their cars at home and travel instead by bike or on foot.
“And if we can reduce the number of vehicles on our roads then not only will our streets be quieter and safer but there should also be an improvement in air quality levels too.”
For more information about the new rules visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/20mph.