RAC urges Government to "look carefully at numbers" of roads police

Published 18 July 2019

A joint review into roads policing and traffic enforcement will be launched in late-2019 in a bid to improve road safety on the back of an eight-year high for drink-drive deaths.

But the RAC says the declining number of roads police are to blame for the rising number of drivers who think they won't get caught.

The two-year review, jointly funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England, will look at how roads policing currently works, its effectiveness and where improvements could be made. It will also consider how best to police roads in rural and urban areas.

>> Drink-drive deaths at eight-year high

The review will not increase the burden on existing police forces, according to the DfT. However, an RAC spokesperson says "The review should look carefully at numbers [of roads police]".

"The RAC's research suggests that there has been a rise in the number of drivers using 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."

Police budgets were slashed in 2010 by 18 per cent, under then-Home Secretary Theresa May. At the time, falling numbers of crime were used to justify the cuts, with automatic number plate recognition software and average speed check cameras expected to pick up the slack.

By 2016, there were 122,859 officers in the UK - down from over 144,000. Many of those roles that were cut were specialist jobs, like roads police. By 2017 the number of roads police had fallen to 2643 from the 3472 in 2010. 


Captain-Cretin    on 19 July 2019

I have seen ONE genuine Police car so far this month.

Boy racers scream up and down the high street past my shop all day in cars, vans and on bikes; they have almost zero chance of being stopped , and dont they know it.

Last fatal crash on my street killed 4 people and the investigation estimated they were doing 89mph at the moment of impact - in the middle of a 30mph residential area.

Late most evenings you see/hear at least a dozen vehicles go flying past at 60+ PER HOUR (mostly badly modded cars and high powered bikes).

With an average of 2 patrols covering around 100 sq miles of the town and multiple villages at night, there is NO deterrent.

   on 20 July 2019

the same happens in my area,motor bikes doing wheelies on council estzates S with a 20 mph limit,they put sppeed humps down,but the fools at the council decided threy didnt need to go thed full width of the road,so there is a 4 foot gap inbetween,which the bikes just ride straight through.I have even seen them do it when a police van was coming the other way,as usual,the police just ignored it.They also go out on the made roadin groups of 3 or more,again doing wheelies,and sometimes even riding onto the footpath,without even slowing down.The more they are allowed to get away with it,the worse it get.As they have no helmets,and the bikes dont even look legal,you can be sure they have no insurance,no licence,andprobably under age as well.Contrast this with a motorist driving a couple of mph above the speed limit,being flashed by a speed camera. He/she is not deliberately driving dangerously,but they get fined,and points on their licence.but the fools on moterbikes,and the boy racers,are deliberately driving dangerously,and get away with it,and even though they are aware its going on,sometimes under their noses,the police take no action,As usual,it seems some one has to get killed,before anything is done.

powerlift    on 22 July 2019

There is a vanishingly small chance of being stopped by the police for sub-standard driving. If you are stopped by Police it is probably because you have been flagged up on their tech systems as a marked vehicle because someone else has reported your vehicle to them as being badly driven. They may then observe you for a few minutes, alternatively they may be too busy with something else!

Brian rowe    on 22 July 2019

Should be more ANPR cameras around, stop the illegal cars and persons on the roads. Give the PCSO's more authority, they don't say anything.

Victor Baker    on 22 July 2019

How about on-the-spot fines as adopted in Canada ? If you are caught speeding ( or any other motoring offence ) and can’t or elect not to pay ... the car is clamped and the occupants left to find their own way home. Every now and then cases are publicised in newspapers ... the news soon gets around ! Speeding fines are proportionate to how much over the limit the offender was going. If eventually the driver/owner decides to pay then there is an additional amount to pay for recovery and storage. There is very little speeding in Canada !
Additionally I believe at least some of the fine should go for general policing, and not to the Government. And lunatic driving should result in immediate confiscation of the vehicle.

Rob Pollock    on 22 July 2019

The cameras don't catch the hgvs doing 60 on an A road or overtaking in a weight-restricted lane, they don't catch the parent on the mobile who's just dropped their kids off at school, or the drivers who can't afford insurance so buy a cheap car and run the risk. They don't catch the dangerous drivers, danger isn't just about speed, someone doing 20 mph on the wrong side of the road in a 30 zone can be just as dangerous as someone doing 35 or 40 on the same road. There are so many hazards on the road that it requires both Police in cars and a legal system willing and able to do something about repeat offenders.

Husbandofstinky    on 23 July 2019

A 24% reduction in the traffic police. Ridiculous.

Way too much reliance on income-generating technology whilst the government creates more and more means of an indirect taxation revenue stream.

More police presence is required and at least to the 2010 levels.

This could easily be covered (and some) by the removal of the triple lock state pension scheme and back to the double lock at least. On an ever increasing aging population, this is policy is crippling the country's finances. Best part of £900 saved per pensioner over five years - there are 19 million pensioners in the UK

The working population cannot keep on top with these in excess of inflation pay rises (the past 12 years) when the real world has just about been keeping incomes on par with inflation during that time

Moving the state pension goal posts to 67/68 (not that I'm personally happy with this but accept it) will help but that is just batting it off so far into the distance.

Jealous of your average pensioner, you bet ya.

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