PCC plans to use speeding fine funds for road safety thrown out - The Solihull Observer

PCC plans to use speeding fine funds for road safety thrown out

Solihull Editorial 22nd May, 2024   0

THE WEST Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has declared the Government lacks the urgency needed to get a grip on prioritising road safety.

This comes after the Department for Transport (DfT) rejected his proposals for monies collected from fixed penalty notices – as opposed to speeding fines, issued in the West Midlands, being spent on improving road safety across the region.

Last summer, the PCC, Simon Foster, launched a four-week public consultation on road safety and received overwhelming backing to have money raised from speeding fines spent on road safety schemes.

The PCC campaigned to have the funds ringfenced, for use by both West Midlands Police and the seven local authorities, in the delivery of aims to improve road safety, as set out in the West Midlands Regional Road Safety Strategy 2023-2030.

Currently, fines and penalty receipts – such as speeding fines – are paid into the Government’s general bank account, The Consolidated Fund, which supports general expenditure on public services across England and Wales.

An average of 16,654 fixed penalty tickets are processed by West Midlands Police per year which, in turn, generates £1.6million in income for the Treasury.

In January, the PCC hand delivered the results of his public consultation to the DfT offices in Birmingham.

However, despite results clearly backing the PCC’s campaign to retain funds to be spent on improving road safety locally, the DfT have shut down the proposals, citing that ‘fines being paid into the Consolidated Fund avoids creating incentives for the sake of generating revenues, rather than for the purpose of enforcement and road safety’.

Mr Foster said: “I am deeply disappointed with the response from the DfT. It appears to show a real lack of urgency on the part of a government that is not prepared to grip the need to prioritise road safety.

“As PCC and, as chair of the West Midlands Road Safety Strategic Group, reducing the number of people tragically and avoidably killed and seriously injured on our roads will always be of paramount importance.

“That is because the consequences of road traffic collisions are catastrophic and devastating.”

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