Enforcement

Effective enforcement relies on quarterly reporting of collisions, active use of on-street officer enforcement for the most dangerous behaviours

Road design, technology, education and training are all important in helping drivers drive more safely. But given motor vehicles are designed to exude far more power than is needed and given drivers routinely get away with dangerous behaviours, clear police enforcement is also needed.

RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, offers a range of guidance on enforcement and traffic justice. This includes its invaluable Traffic Law Enforcement Baseline Review (2019). Road safety charity, Brake also publishes a range of resources about road policing in the UK.  

There are some signs that where good policies are in place, the police are able to play a positive enforcement role, for example in Avon and Somerset, West Midlands, Wales and London. For effective enforcement you need to see the following:

  1. Quarterly or at least annual reporting of enforcement activity. The Metropolitan Police is now being much more transparent about its enforcement activity and is publishing annual reports with reports available from the TfL website (Road policing enforcement bulletins) covering the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.
  2. Active use of on-street officer enforcement for the most dangerous behaviours including inappropriate speeds, distraction (use of mobile phones while driving), drink/drug driving and careless and dangerous driving and driving without insurance, licence and MOT.
  3. Widespread speed and redlight camera enforcement.
  4. Promotion of enforcement work to magnify its impact. Examples of this include the West Midlands Police Traffic Investigations Unit, the Metropolitan Police Vision Zero work and Avon & Somerset Police.