The Department for Transport has announced plans to review roads policing in line with its Road Safety Action Plan.
The review, the full details of which will be announced on Friday 19 July, will launch later this year. A call for evidence will come in the autumn.
What’s being reviewed, and when will we see the effects?
The DfT will review how different agencies can share information with the police and vice versa. It wants improvements to be made in areas where current strategies are not so effective, as well as identifying new problems that require changes and advancements in order to effectively combat them.
“We have strong laws in place to ensure people are kept safe on our roads at all times,” said road safety minister Michael Ellis.
“But roads policing is a key deterrent in stopping drivers breaking the law and risking their and other people’s lives.
“This review will not only highlight where police forces are doing good work, it will show what more can be done to improve road safety.”
The requirements of different types of road network are to be reconsidered as well. How does a rural area differ in terms of how the roads are policed by comparison to urban areas or motorways and A roads?
The DfT will be working in conjunction with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to identify what needs to be done, and funding the project with the help of Highways England.
Pilot programme to launch as early as 2020
A pilot programme based on the feedback could come as early as next year, with new initiatives aimed at reducing road casualties to be tested.
The RAC has responded positively to the announcement, acknowledging the need to review policing in the face of new motoring challenges.
“We welcome the government’s review into roads policing,” said an RAC spokesperson.
“The RAC’s research suggests that there has been a rise in the number of drivers using handheld mobile phones over the last couple of years, despite higher penalties.
“Our research also shows an increase in the number of drivers that admit to driving while over the legal alcohol limit. Our data indicates that people break the law in these ways because they feel they can get away with it which suggests that fewer roads traffic police officers is contributing to illegal activity at the wheel.”