Council introducing automated yellow box enforcement after last year’s law change

West Northamptonshire Council has announced traffic enforcement will get underway this month in several areas where it says some drivers are ignoring or unaware of the restrictions in place.

New regulations came into effect in May 2022 through the Traffic Management Act (2004) and the Department for Transport has changed legislation to enable local authorities to apply for powers to enforce against moving traffic contraventions.

The Government approved plans for West Northamptonshire Council to take on this responsibility, following a positive response to a public consultation around five proposed sites, three of which in Northampton will be coming forward for enforcement this month.

Many of these are intended to aid traffic flow by ensuring carriageways don’t become blocked by vehicles, and to help avoid accidents taking place at busy junctions.

These powers have until now only been used by police but a recent change in the law makes it possible for councils to tackle those breaching regulations.

“With our highways partner Kier and the police, we identified the first five spots which would benefit from this kind of enforcement,” said Cllr Phil Larratt, Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport, Highways and Waste. “The the majority of survey responses came from those who either strongly support or support the introduction of these measures, although some of those who responded to the survey disagreed, but their objections were largely around the introduction of enforcement as a concept.

“As long as people are aware of and are following the rules of the road, they won’t fall foul of these new measures, and we should see fewer accidents and hopefully less congestion as a result,”

During the first six months of operation at each site a warning notice will be issued for first offences for any given vehicle, thereafter Penalty Charge Notices will be issued.

The council says Further sites for enforcement are under consideration, especially those that residents suggested during the consultation process.

(Picture – West Northamptonshire Council)

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