Traffic enforcement powers expanded to local authorities

Nearly 300 local councils in England will be given new powers to hand out fines for motoring offences. Last year, the Government announced its plans to implement the moving traffic enforcement powers in Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. Work is underway to bring these powers into force, which will take several months.

Drivers can be fined up to £70 for offences such as ignoring banned left and right hand turns or stopping in yellow boxes.

Currently, only London authorities have the power to enforce these so-called “moving traffic offences”, although the government aims to change this. In London, almost 4000 drivers a day are caught breaking traffic rules, such as driving in a bus lane.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Minister for Roads, Buses and Places confirmed to the Oundle Chronicle that North Northamptonshire could assume powers to enforce fines for these offences. She said: “When these powers come into force, it will enable those local authorities outside London with civil parking enforcement powers to apply to the secretary of state for enforcement of moving traffic offences.”

Northamptonshire currently has no operating speed cameras, and relies on mobile patrol vehicles to monitor speeding. Questions remain about whether the authority will have the ability to enforce traffic violations.
The RAC said that there were also concerns that the powers were going to be used as a money-making scheme. The head of the RAC’s roads policy said: “There is a risk that some councils might use this as a lucrative revenue-raising tool.”

Robert Brettle
May 2021