‘Troubling’: Speed camera test catches 23,500 drivers breaking 20mph limit

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A new 20mph speed camera in Plymouth has caught more than 23,500 drivers going over the limit during a test period. The camera will go live next week and the police and the local council want motorists to be aware.

Supt Adrian Leisk said the results were “troubling” and people were “obviously ignoring” the signs.

During an eight-week test period prior to activation, the two-directional camera detected more than 1,100 speeding drivers in the first 24 hours.

The camera was installed by Plymouth City Council after local residents said in a consultation they favoured the approach over traffic calming measures.

Supt Leisk, who leads strategic roads policing for Devon and Cornwall Police told the BBC: “Speed is a big contributory factor in serious collisions.

“Travelling too fast both reduces the time in which a driver can react and increases the risk of serious or fatal injuries in the event of a collision.”

Those caught travelling just over the stated speed limit will be offered an educational course, provided they have not completed one in the past three years.

Offences above this threshold will face a £100 fine and three points or be sent directly to court for higher speed offences.

The scheme cost £230,000, with £190,000 provided by the Department for Transport’s active travel fund.

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A spokesperson for Plymouth City Council said: “This scheme is about keeping people safe on a very busy narrow road. Keep your speed down and you won’t get fined.”

It comes as Jacob Rees-Mogg slammed 20mph speed limits, branding them “ridiculous”, saying they “simply obstruct the flow of traffic”.

The Conservative MP for North East Somerset denounced plans to introduce 20mph speed limits in a number of villages, including in West Harptree, where he lives.

The Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency said drivers should be able to live their own lives, referencing the speed limits.

He said: “Twenty-mile-an-hour limits are ridiculous.

“They simply obstruct the flow of traffic.

“People are in favour of them when they are proposed, and later realise how annoying they are.

“It’s a microcosm of politics generally: opinion polls suggest something would be popular and once you put it into practice it isn’t.

“People should be free to lead their own lives as far as possible without Government interference,” he told the Sunday Times Magazine.

In February, Transport for London made a major announcement that it would introduce new 20mph speed limits on four roads around London.

It hopes to expand this project to 127 miles of road to have a 20mph speed limit by 2024.

Currently, around 50 miles of road in London are under a 20mph limit.

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