Road Safety Action Plan To Review Traffic And Road Policing

Wed 17th Jul 2019

A major new report by the Department for Transport will be published this week with the aim of highlighting the good and the bad of current roads policing.

The far-reaching review will tackle a whole raft of new policing challenges in the all-new environment of driving, including the increasing number of driver distractions such as mobile phones and entertainment systems. 

Following the review, a range of new measures could be piloted as early as 2020, with funding for the project provided by Highways England.

“We have strong laws in place to ensure people are kept safe on our roads at all times,” said road safety minister Michael Ellis.

“But roads policing is a key deterrent in stopping drivers breaking the law and risking their and other people’s lives.

“This review will not only highlight where police forces are doing good work, it will show what more can be done to improve road safety.”

Some of the new measures have already been trialled on UK roads include the long-range speed cameras which are able to detect offences from a kilometre away, whilst ‘phone zombie’ lighting which will catch the eye of those using their devices whilst driving are also being discussed. 

The review will come at a time when actual police traffic officer numbers are on the decline, seeing a fall of 24 per cent in the last six years.

“We welcome the government’s review into roads policing,” said an RAC spokesperson.

“The RAC’s research suggests that there has been a rise in the number of drivers using handheld mobile phones over the last couple of years, despite higher penalties.

“Our research also shows an increase in the number of drivers that admit to driving while over the legal alcohol limit. Our data indicates that people break the law in these ways because they feel they can get away with it which suggests that fewer roads traffic police officers is contributing to illegal activity at the wheel.”