‘Genuinely confused’ drivers caught speeding in new 20mph zone will avoid fine
Police forces in Wales began enforcing the new law this week after it became the first nation in the UK to implement the blanket speed restriction across residential areas.
But outgoing Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford confirmed that drivers who did not understand the new speed limit would be exempt from fines.
He said police officers should instead educate drivers who clearly show they are having difficulty grasping the rules, and not just "claim" they are confused.Ditch your old TV and get paid £300 by Samsung to buy its flagship 8K telly
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Mr Drakeford said: "I think if the police find somebody driving above 20mph, and the reason is they are genuinely confused about that... the police will always start with education and conversation. I don't think in those circumstances of genuine confusion the police will move to enforcement.
"If there are examples, genuine examples, of people having misunderstood the piece of road they are on is now a 20mph limit then I think that will be resolved by the way the police intend to respond. But it would need to be genuine confusion rather than just a claim to be confused."
Mr Drakeford said a period of time had also been given for people to get used to the new restrictions. He said: "Given the amount of attention paid to it it would be difficult for anybody to say by the end of last year they had never heard of it. Now we are moving into the next phase.
"It isn't a hard enforcement phase, it continues to start with people being informed, educated and made aware of the change. Where there are blatant and deliberate breaches of the law, just as there would be by people speeding over 30mph in a 30mph zone or over 70mph on the motorway, then we would all expect the law to be enforced and that's what we would expect in Wales."
According to GoSafe Wales, a road casualty reduction group who work with police and local authorities, the threshold for prosecution in Wales is 10% of the recorded speed plus 4mph in a 20mph zone. This would mean you would have to be caught driving 26mph in a 20mph limit zone in Wales before you could be prosecuted. The equivalent in the rest of the UK is 10% plus 2mph, reducing the prosecutable speed to 23mph.
- ^ Drivers (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ first nation in the UK to implement the blanket speed restriction (www.mirror.co.uk)
- ^ Ditch your old TV and get paid £300 by Samsung to buy its flagship 8K telly (www.mirror.co.uk)