Locals skeptical of Islington speed limit enforcement
Residents of Islington remain skeptical of speed enforcement as the borough becomes the first in London to issue penalties to drivers violating its 20 mph speed limit.
Last year, Islington was the first of London’s boroughs to introduce the speed limit to all roads, except those managed by TfL.
In the last 12 months, however, not a single penalty has been issued for drivers going between 20 and 30 mph. The council and the police have held 24 so-called “stop and advise operations”, in which drivers caught breaking the speed limit were reminded to slow down.
“Most motorists obey the speed limits, but those who don’t can now expect to be prosecuted and risk losing their licence,” said Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport. “We’ve worked closely with the police over the past 12 months to target hot-spots where drivers frequently speed, and together we’ve stopped more than 900 motorists to remind them to keep within the limit.”
Following this, Islington started police enforcement this month, making it the first borough in London where drivers can actually be prosecuted for breaking the 20 mph limit.
Paul, who lives in Islington and is currently unemployed, thinks this is necessary. “On small roads and housing estates I can understand speed limits. Still, even there it is not happening without enforcement. I don’t think it is useful at all without any speed traps or cameras,” he said.
Road safety is especially important for families with young children. “I think it is good that they introduced the speed limit, but I haven’t really noticed a difference. Maybe enforcement will help to improve road safety though,” said one mother who lives in the area.
Some people worry though that even enforcement will do nothing to deter speeders. City University student Steven said he thought “there is no speed limit that can stop some insane drivers, but enforcement might scare them off. “
Eight other London boroughs, among them Camden and Hackney, have also introduced a 20 mph speed limit in the last year, but enforcement has not yet been implemented there.