Urgent warning for drivers as thousands are hit with £100 fines after 'quiet' speed limit change | The Sun

AN urgent warning has been issued after thousands of drivers are being hit with £100 fines as new speed limit changes are made.

Local councils across the country have started quietly introducing 20mph speed zones leaving drivers "accruing fines and points at an alarming rate", say campaigners.

Avon and Somerset police issued 23,338 Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) letters to people who were all accused of breaking the speed limit while South Wales police sent out 8,372 and Cleveland police, 1,644.

NIPs inform a driver they have been accused of speeding, giving them the option to pay or challenge it in court.

Motoring campaigner Quentin Willson said these specific slow zones should only be in areas where pedestrians are clearly vulnerable.

He told MailOnline: "Blanket 20 mph limits will discredit other road safety initiatives and alienate motoring consumers."

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Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, said there has been a definite change in speed limits around London.

"We don't condone breaking the speed limit, but many of the drivers we represent, who have often gone their whole life without receiving a fine and with clean licenses, are now accruing fines and points at an alarming rate," Mr McNamara added.

"These drivers are being caught out by drastically lower speed limits on roads like Park Lane, which have been unexpectedly reduced to 20mph zones from 40mph."

It comes after safety campaigners highlighted figures which suggested a driver travelling at 20mph would cut the amount of deaths and injuries which happen on the roads.

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The Met Police are planning on doubling the number of patrols in zones which are 20mph as part of a target to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries from transport by 2041.

The force has said a pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 20mph instead of 30, is five times less likely to be fatally injured.

Councils are expected to introduce the zones to the majority of the UK's built up areas by next year with a third of roads in Wales being 20mph from September.

A breakdown of the changes and fines

If you're driving in a 20mph speed zone and are caught doing 24mph you will get a fixed penalty notice.

But, if you're driving between 24mph and 31mph you will get a penalty notice and be ordered to attend a speed awareness course.

Anything above 35mph, drivers can be fined up to 700 per cent of their weekly income with a maximum penalty of £1,000.

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