Havering Council determined to 'improve' drivers' behaviour
PUBLISHED: 11:14 23 June 2015 | UPDATED: 09:23 24 June 2015
With £130 fines aimed at "encouraging" better driving set to be handed out from September the Recorder visited two sites to see how many motorists flout the rules.
Havering Council will take over the enforcement of traffic violations, including illegal turns, ignoring one-way streets and driving in bus lanes, from police and has warned drivers that fines will be issued.
Cllr Robert Benham, cabinet member for environment, said: “A lot of motorists just can’t be bothered to stick to the rules and drive safely, because they think it saves them time when in fact it just increases traffic flow and slows people down.
“Not only does it disturb other drivers, it’s also very dangerous and could lead to a serious accident.”
The Recorder was invited to visit two “hotspots” in Romford town centre to see the scale of the problem.
Sat in Western Road for 20 minutes we witnessed about 10 violations, including illegal U-turns and parking in a no entry zone by Asda’s loading bay.
Steve Moore, Havering Council’s head of streetcare, said: “This is in such a short amount of time and it’s even worse at peak times when parents are dropping their children off at school at about 8am and then again when they’re picking them up.
“We want to encourage drivers to improve their behaviour on the road and ditch these bad habits, which could endanger people’s lives.”
In 2014, 42 people in Havering suffered serious injuries after road accidents, 727 were taken to hospital with minor injuries and four died at the scene.
Havering Council is the 30th London authority to start fining rogue motorist and a list of 270 specific contravention sites has been compiled for enforcement by CCTV cameras and cars from September, following a three month grace period.
The offences will be treated as civil and motorists will not receive points on their licences.
The fines, which will be reduced by 50 per cent if paid within two weeks, will support the cost of the enforcement with any extra money used to improve road transport provision.
Cllr Benham, said: “We have had a positive reaction from residents and even though there are always going to be people who do not agree, we think this is the best way of helping to reduce the number of accidents.
“If this was some kind of money making scheme, we would have introduced it a long time ago but holding this grace period before we start fining proves that this is about people’s safety rather than money.”