New 20 mph zones have been introduced on roads in parts of Bristol.
The new limits will affect drivers on a number of routes, including some main roads. Other zones will be introduced later.
Bristol Council says it hopes to make the roads safer, but the Alliance of British Drivers has warned that slower speeds could drive people out of the city and make drivers less alert.
The scheme marks something of a u-turn for Bristol. Speed cameras there were turned off in 2011, but are now going to be switched back on. According to the Mayor, up to 26 speed and traffic light cameras will be switched on this year.
Anyone caught speeding who is not eligible for a speed awareness course is at risk of at least 3 penalty points on their licence, or even disqualification (ban) in some cases. Anyone who reaches 12 points in three years is at risk of a Magistrates’ Court disqualification under the totting-up procedure.
According to a recent national survey reported in yesterday’s Bristol Post, many drivers will ignore the new limit. What actually happens in practice, remains to be seen.
Manchester Council has also proposed a number of areas where 20 mph zones would be in force on all non-major roads. A public consultation is due to begin at the end of this month and the Council plans to start putting up signs alerting motorists to the new limits in the spring.
Many other councils have also either introduced or are considering 20 mph zones. Birmingham, for example, has just completed a consultation and is considering its plans.
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