A two-year long review into roads policing and traffic enforcement is to be launched in a bid to improve road safety.
The review, jointly funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England, will examine ‘how roads policing currently works, its effectiveness, and where improvements could be made or gaps bridged’.
Its findings will be of interest to Fleet decision makers involved in safety and risk management and those looking to ensure the benefits of driver training are long-lasting.
Road Safety Minister Michael Ellis said: “We have strong laws in place to ensure people are kept safe on our roads at all times.
“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.”
Commenting on the DfT’s proposed road safety review, Edmund King, AA president said: “We welcome the review into the important safety issuer of roads policing. The biggest deterrent to someone drink-driving, picking up their phone behind the wheel or driving without insurance, is to have a very strong and very visible police presence. Reducing the number of specialist traffic police by a third over a decade has meant that some drivers feel they can regularly drive or act dangerously in their cars and get away with it.
“While the public accepts that cameras and new technology are part of the toolkit available to forces in policing our roads, we should not underestimate the role of having more cops in cars.”
A spokesperson for the RAC said: "We welcome the Government's review into roads policing. 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."
"The review should look carefully at numbers but also consider new forms of technology that can help keep our roads and its users safe."
A call for evidence will be launched this autumn to assess current working practices. Findings and recommendations will be ready in 2020.