Devon and Cornwall's police and crime commissioner calls for tougher fines for speeding motorists

Alison Hernandez, Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner Credit: ITV West Country

Devon and Cornwall's police and crime commissioner is calling for speeding fines to be doubled after a survey showed overwhelming support for a crackdown on the problem.

Alison Hernandez wants the proceeds reinvested in initiatives to improve road safety, including more funds for roads policing.

She was responding after the publication of a national road traffic survey, which included responses from almost 7,000 people in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Almost 70 per cent of those who took part backed an increase from £100 to £200 for fixed penalty fines, such as not wearing a seat belt and speeding.

And almost one-third of those who took part said they felt unsafe on the roads where they lived.

Almost 70 per cent of those questioned for the survey wanted higher fixed penalty fines. Credit: ITV West Country

Alison Hernandez, who takes the lead on road safety for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, said: “I would like to thank all of those who took part in this survey, I was pleased we had a fantastic response but not surprised because I know there is a great deal of public concern about this issue.

“Now we have the evidence to show Government that there is a strong public desire for greater penalties for those who put lives at risk and a desire for increased enforcement.

Members of the public have clearly had enough of seeing people flouting the laws designed to protect them and their loved ones. They have had enough of hearing about or being directly affected by the deaths of men, women and children and the thousands of lives blighted by injury on our roads.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall Police

This is the full regional breakdown of the survey for Devon and Cornwall.

  • 75% (5,107) said they witnessed road traffic offences such as drivers using mobile phones, speeding or not wearing a seatbelt on a daily or weekly basis.

  • 79% (5,381) said they thought road traffic offences in their areas required more enforcement

  • 69% (4,704) said they supported increasing fixed penalty fines from £100 to £200

  • 86% (5,850) agreed that the money raised through fines should be reinvested in enforcement and road safety measures to keep people safer

  • Overall in Devon and Cornwall, more than 30% (2,006) of those who responded said they felt unsafe or very unsafe on the roads where they lived.

The national survey attracted more than 66,000 responses, the largest ever conducted by the APCC, and will be used to influence a Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on roads policing.

Commissioner Hernandez is aiming to eradicate road death entirely, with a target to halve road casualties in Devon and Cornwall in the next 10 years.

She will now lobby for a rise in the level of fixed penalty notices for speeding and failure to wear a seatbelt and will call for revenues raised to be reinvested in local area road safety initiatives and roads policing.

She said: “We know that some people are more likely to drive recklessly when they think there is less likelihood of them being caught.

“During lockdown there were some extraordinary examples of people putting lives at risk because they believed police were busy elsewhere and despite a significant decrease in traffic levels we have unfortunately seen a significant number of serious incidents.”