Important update for drivers in Wales

If you are a driver or are learning to drive in Wales, the speed limit in a lot of areas will be changing from 30mph to 20mph in built-up areas.

The speed reduction has already been implemented in some places but is set to be fully introduced in 2023.

You probably have a lot of questions! Here is more information on the update.

What roads will be affected?

The changes will be applied to restricted roads. These roads are defined as roads that have lampposts placed 200 or fewer yards apart.

Typically, restricted roads are located in built-up residential areas, with high levels of pedestrian activity. Town centres, villages and around schools will be affected!

The Welsh government has acknowledged the reduced speed might not be appropriate on every restricted road and has therefore said local authorities can make exceptions.

Is this change by law?

The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 says “it is not lawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle on a restricted road at a speed exceeding 30mph.” That will be amended to 20mph.

When will this be put in motion?

This new law makes Wales the first nation to implement 20mph on all restricted roads and was approved by the Welsh parliament on 11th July by a vote.

The new speed limit is set to come into full force in September 2023.

But how will this be enforced?

The Welsh government plan to work incredibly closely with the Police to create a dedicated enforcement strategy.

If caught speeding, at the moment there’s a minimum speeding penalty fine of £100 and three points added to your licence. Having 12 points or more within three years will disqualify you altogether from driving.

If you are stopped by the police you will be either given a verbal warning, send a fixed penalty notice, offer a speed awareness course or they can order you to attend court.

What will it do?

The latest data provided by the police shows exactly half of the people hurt in collisions in Wales happened on 30mph roads and in more than 40% of them, someone was seriously injured or killed.

It is said that the chances of someone surviving being hit by a car travelling at 20mph rather than 30mph is seven times higher, as the stopping distance is almost 50% less.

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