New powers sought for traffic offences

New powers are being sought by North Somerset Council to improve safety on the roads.

The council is one of the latest local authorities applying to the Government for authorisation to enforce moving traffic offences.

These powers, will enable the council to target hot spot areas where drivers are frequently breaking the law and creating an unsafe environment for the public and placing all road users at risk. 

The first site to be targeted will be the no right hand turn when exiting Searle Crescent near Asda onto Winterstoke Road.

Following a change in legislation on 31 May 2021, councils can now apply to have legal powers to enforce offences including turning left or right where it is prohibited, going the wrong way in a one-way street and stopping on school-keep-clear areas.

Neighbouring authorities such as Bristol City Council adopted the powers in earlier tranches and have seen a positive change in driver safety on their roads. 

Up to now the police have enforced moving traffic offences outside of London, but now local councils are keen to take on the powers so they can actively tackle problem areas.

Cllr Hannah Young, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for highways said the enforcement action would improve road safety.

“This is not an income stream for the council it is about improving safety in areas where drivers are flouting regulations. All income must be spent on the scheme, maintaining camera equipment or on highway improvements.”

“Enforcement of moving traffic restrictions will be undertaken using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera technology. Images of vehicles breaking the traffic regulation orders will be sent for officer review with either a warning letter being issued if it is a first offence and within the first six months of that site being enforced, or a fixed penalty notice being issued.  

“Once a site has become compliant, the camera will be relocated to another site.”

Each site considered for enforcement will first be evidenced by survey cameras and data provided by the Police and the Department for Transport. Any sites seen as having significant issues will be put forward.

This will be followed by a period of engagement with road users to gather further information about usage of the sites.

The council has launched engagement on the pilot site near Asda this month. More information on how to get involved in the consultation can be found at

The data from this site will accompany the application to the Department for Transport.

It is anticipated that if successful, the council will officially have the new powers early next year. 


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