25 drivers warned for flouting 20mph rules but no fines issued

POLICE have pulled over and warned 25 drivers for flouting the Capital's new 20mph rules over the last two days.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 5th August 2016, 8:53 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2016, 9:58 am
20mph zones have been controversial since they were introduced. Picture; Jon Savage
20mph zones have been controversial since they were introduced. Picture; Jon Savage

The motorists were stopped for “going slightly over” the limit in the city centre.

Officers said all “were given appropriate advice and warned accordingly” – and it is thought that none of them were fined.

Chief Inspector Mark Rennie, local area commander for central and south east Edinburgh, said it was important to “raise awareness”.

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20mph zones. Picture; Neil Hanna

He said: “We will continue to enforce the new 20mph zones in the same manner that we enforce the 30mph and 40mph speed limits, but it is important that we help raise awareness to the public given the recent changes within the city centre.

“As such, we have been out on patrol over the past two days and identified 25 motorists committing minor speed infractions.

“These individuals were given an appropriate warning and reminded of the new limit. Keeping road users safe is a priority in Edinburgh and we’re committed to working with partners to achieve this.

“Statistics show that reducing speeds reduces casualties, and we expect people to abide by the new legislation.”

20mph zones. Picture; Neil Hanna

Edinburgh’s 20mph roll-out is the first of its kind in Scotland, with the entire city set to be covered by January 31, 2018.

Phase one came into force over the weekend, covering the centre and rural west of the Capital. Phase two, covering the north of the city, will be brought in from February 28, 2017.

Eventually, 80 per cent of Edinburgh’s streets will come under the new rules, with only key arterial routes – such as Ferry Road, St John’s Road and Telford Road – exempted.

Supporters say the scheme will make the roads safer and calmer, boosting sustainable transport options such as cycling and paving the way for a more pleasant city environment.

But critics point to increased journey times and a lack of enforcement – with several taxi drivers telling the Evening News motorists were under no pressure to slow down.

City leaders previously admitted they will rely heavily on drivers choosing to change their own behaviour through a “major culture change and awareness campaign”, rather than cracking down on those who break the rules.

And Police Scotland 
confirmed there would be no extra officers on the streets to enforce the change.

It said officers would focus on carrying out enforcement in areas where speeding is regularly reported – as well as around secondary and primary schools.

A council spokeswoman said: “Police Scotland will enforce the 20mph limit in the same way they currently enforce other limits, appropriately responding to any motorists observed speeding and taking whatever action’s required.”

Drivers caught flouting the new rules face being slapped with £100 fines and three penalty points – just like any other speeder.