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Driver penalty points system 'by 2019'

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THERE are no plans to introduce fixed speed cameras in Jersey nor implement an Island-wide speed limit strategy, the Infrastructure Minister has said.

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And there are no plans to tighten up laws on mobile phone use in cars, he added.

Deputy Eddie Noel and his chief officer John Rogers, who were questioned during a Scrutiny hearing on a number of road safety issues by backbenchers, confirmed, however, that a drivers’ penalty points system, similar to the UK’s, could be in place by 2019.

Deputy David Johnson, who chairs the Environment, Infrastructure and Housing Scrutiny panel, asked the minister whether he had any plans to introduce speed cameras into the Island.

In response, Deputy Noel said that the idea had been dismissed by a work group set up to discuss road safety matters.

‘Two years ago we set up a road safety work group with the 13 police authorities and the 13 roads authorities,’ he said.

‘Since then we have been having discussions on what are the next steps for road safety. In December last year we issued a road safety action plan for 2017.

‘One of the things decided at our workshops was about [non-hand-held roadside] speed cameras. They were not supported by the majority of the people attending.’

He added: ‘It was for a raft of reasons.

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‘They have been proved not to work in the UK, where they are just used to generate income and not to improve road safety.’

Mr Rogers said that speed cameras had had a detrimental effect on road safety in the UK.

‘What happens is people are aware of where the speed cameras are and slow down for that part of the road and speed up for the other areas which are not well policed,’ he said.

‘The only people who get caught are those who are not aware of where the speed cameras are. You end up with very strange behaviour on the roads in rural areas, with people driving slowly where speed cameras are and very quickly in other places.’

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During the hearing, Deputy Johnson also asked the minister if any changes were planned to the Jersey law under which drivers are permitted to use a mobile phone if their car engine is running, as long as the vehicle is stationary.

‘We have not received any requests from the Home Affairs Department to do that,’ said Deputy Noel.

Later in the hearing, the minister confirmed that there are no plans in place to implement an Islandwide speed limit strategy, and that the parishes would still determine the limits on their roads independently.

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