Road Traffic Signs (Enforcement Cameras)

– in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 13th December 2005.

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Photo of Nick Palmer Nick Palmer PPS (Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State), Department of Trade and Industry 3:35 pm, 13th December 2005

I beg to move,

That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require all road traffic signs which show the routes where enforcement cameras are from time to time in use to include information on the speed limit in force on such routes.

The Bill is very simple, and I do not expect to detain the House for my full 10 minutes. My proposal would mean that signs indicating the location of a speed camera would also include information about the speed limit that drivers are expected to observe. So, a sign might say, "Speed camera 30", when 30 mph is the limit at that spot or, "Speed camera 40", when the limit is 40 mph.

In many places—and there are some in my constituency—drivers joining a larger road from a side road will pass a speed camera before being informed about the relevant speed limit. I am not at all opposed to the use of speed cameras to enforce reasonable speed limits, and I speak as one who has been fined. Cameras have the effect of restraining those of us who might be tempted to go beyond the appropriate limit, and certainly I am always especially careful when I see a camera.

I think that speed cameras work, but surely it is in the interests of law enforcement and common sense to require camera signs to inform drivers about what they are expected to do. That would be in drivers' interests, too: on seeing a camera sign, all they would have to do is glance down at their speedometers to make sure that they were within the limit displayed on the sign, and then proceed.

Really, that is all that there is to the Bill. It has widespread, all-party support, for which I am very grateful. Its implementation costs would be negligible, as existing signs would merely have to be amended. Mr. Tyrie has asked me to stress his view that there are too many signs already, and that he would like efforts to be made to reduce other signage if the Bill were passed. I accept that that is a reasonable point.

In this House, the tradition is that Bills that merely offer practical improvements are given a fair wind. I hope that hon. Members present today will give it that fair wind, and that it meets the same treatment if approval is given for its Second Reading on 14 July.

Photo of Nick Palmer Nick Palmer PPS (Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State), Department of Trade and Industry

I am very grateful to my hon. Friend for his encouragement, and I hope that the House will allow me to bring in the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Dr. Nick Palmer, Mr. Andrew Tyrie, David Lepper, Mr. Fabian Hamilton, Andrew George, Dr. Howard Stoate, Mr. Rob Wilson, Mr. Andy Reed and Mr. Paul Truswell.