Councils take over enforcement of traffic regulations

New law will mean more fines for motorists breaking the law

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A new range of offences will now be subject to £100 fines from June 21st.

A nine month trial scheme is being set up in London Boroughs including Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing and Wandsworth with a view to extending it across the capital. In Ealing enforcement will start on 9th August.

The new London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003 allows boroughs and TfL to take over the enforcement of traffic regulations from the police such as blocking box junctions, ignoring no left or right turn signs, or driving the wrong way down a one way street. There will also be fixed penalty fines for people blocking footpaths and roads with items like skips and displays outside shops.

The Act aims to help make London�s roads as safe and un-congested as possible for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and all other road users, by taking action against motorists who choose to break the law by ignoring a range of traffic regulations. Drivers breaking these laws will be fined £100. These will be reduced to £50 if they are paid within 14 days.

Jeroen Weimar, TfL's Director of Transport Policing and Enforcement said: 'TfL's aim is to ease congestion and further improve road safety for all users. Robust enforcement is aimed at those few selfish drivers who break the law and drive dangerously on our roads. Those who drive in accordance with the Highway Code should benefit from safer and more reliable journeys.'

The Act will also mean that drivers or operators who break the London Lorry Ban will receive penalty charge notices rather than being taken to court. Operators could face a £500 fine while drivers could face a £100 fine. The Ban helps reduce the unnecessary lorry movements disturbing the peace of Londoners at night and weekends.

The fines will be invested into transport schemes including improving roads, pavements, and public transport. The fines were set following consultations with motoring organisations, the police, business groups, boroughs and the Government.

Chair of the ALG�s Transport and Environment Committee and Acton based Councillor Phil Portwood said: "With hundreds of people being killed on London's roads each year and thousands more being injured it is important that we make our roads as safe as possible for everyone. These new powers will help us to ensure we are able to do this and will also help make roads less congested. No-one should believe they have the right to break the law, which is there to protect people. A simple way of not getting a fine is not to break the law in the first place."

The boroughs taking part in the pilot scheme are Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Newham and Wandsworth.

June 30, 2004