West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster has launched a s four-week public consultation into whether money collected from fixed penalty notices handed out to motorists should be spent on new enforcement projects in the area where the money is gathered.
At present cash raised from fines goes to the Treasury, but the cost of running schemes falls on the authority implementing them.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner and as chair of the West Midlands Road Safety Strategic Group, preventing, tackling and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour on our roads, promoting road harm reduction and reducing the number of people tragically and avoidably killed and seriously injured on our roads are top priorities,” Mr Foster said. “This is because the consequences of road traffic collisions are catastrophic and devastating.”
He explained that excessive and unlawful speeds by vehicles are a factor in many road traffic collisions, with an average of 16,654 fixed penalty tickets are processed by the West Midlands Police ticketing office each year, generating £1,654,000 in income for HM Treasury.
“This money is not fed back into roads policing or to support local authorities’ road safety activities in any way,” he continued. “This disposal method is not cost neutral to the police, nor to the local authorities, who own the cameras which enable excessive speed activations and the tickets to be generated.
“Enforcement is at a cost to the local authorities and to the police. This means that money, which could be used to prevent, tackle and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on the roads and improve road safety more generally, is being spent to generate revenue for Central Government. Enforcement to prevent, tackle and reduce unlawful speeding on our roads, should not come at a cost to local authorities or West Midlands Police.
“All money generated through the enforcement of unlawful speeding on West Midlands roads, should be spent here. This can be used to fund further enforcement and improve safety on the road network for all road users, through interventions such as driver targeted behaviour change programmes, education and infrastructure enhancements, to make use of the road network safe for vulnerable road users, for example, pedestrians and cyclists.
“The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office are continuing to campaign for this money to remain where it is collected, here in the West Midlands. This money would then be used to prevent, tackle and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on our roads and to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. It should be ringfenced for use by both West Midlands Police and the seven local authorities, in the delivery of the West Midlands Regional Road Safety Strategy 2023-2030.”
The Consultation is open until midday on Friday, July 28th and is available here.
(File picture – Jenoptik)