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Merseyside road safety failures

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Improvements needed from Merseyside Police
In some areas, Merseyside Police are not adhering to best practice. It is likely that this is leading to road casualties that could have been avoided, and contributing to Merseyside having the worst rate of pedestrian casualties in the country - and so it should be corrected.

1. Drop reference to out of date speed limit guidance

It has become clear that choosing 30mph as the default urban speed limit was a grave error, resulting in large numbers of deaths and injuries, and a public health disaster from the deterrence of walking and cycling.

Lowering the speed limit in residential areas from 30mph to 20mph is effective in reducing casualties and has the support of a large majority of the population [1]. It works well in the Netherlands where the 30kph limits contribute to the large numbers of children walking and cycling and the healthy population.

So 20mph limits with compliance should by now be the norm in residential areas in the UK.

But the policy on enforcement of 20mph speed limits from Merseyside Police
  • includes reference to guidance from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (disolved in 2001), updated several times since then, most recently in 2013
  • includes reference to a 2007 ACPO circular (superseded in 2013)
  • is rambling, lengthy and inconsistent

The Merseyside Police policy was given in a written reply [2] by the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner to Liverpool Cycle Forum in September 2016.

See also a Freedom of Information response from Merseyside Police dated '2017': https://www.merseyside.police.uk/media/801498/enforcement-20-mph-speed-limits-dj-2017-107.pdf

Other police forces just get on with enforcing 20mph speed limits, e.g.



2. Give clear information on speed limits

Many drivers are confused about the law and this is contributing to illegal speeds.

Merseyside Police give a misleading impression about the law on speed limits, for example having a threshold of 36mph before letters are sent in Community Speed Watch activities.

Merseyside Police should be clear that even 1mph over a speed limit is breaking the law.


References


[1] British Social Attitudes Survey 2015: Public attitudes towards transport (2017) Department for Transport
https://files.datapress.com/sport/dataset/british-social-attitudes-survey-2015--public-attitudes-towards-transport/2017-01-26T18:50:00/LSR197%20Department%20for%20Transport%20-%20British%20Social%20Attitudes%20Survey%202015.pdf or download from here
[2] Reply to question 2 https://www.wacm.org.uk/files/item_5_responses_from_the_police_and_crime_commissioner.pdf (2016)









Last updated: 11 Sep 2018