Police speed limit tolerance (FOI)
Police speed limit tolerance (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 13 March 2020.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
What is the tolerance given by the States of Jersey Police and Honorary Police Forces when conducting speed checks?
How many people have been prosecuted for speed going under 10% over the relevant speed limit?
The Road traffic (Jersey) law 1956 is quite clear:
Article 21 Limitation of speed
(1) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle of any class or description on any road at a speed exceeding the speed specified in Schedule 2 as the maximum speed in relation to a vehicle of that class or description.
The law allows for no tolerance for drivers exceeding the speed limit.
The States of Jersey Police and the Honorary police do however, have discretion to warn drivers, who are exceeding the speed limit rather than instigate a prosecution or a Parish hall enquiry. Both police forces follow the same guidelines on when to exercise this discretion although individual officers are at liberty to alter this depending on the prevailing conditions, e.g. the weather conditions, the road location, the time of day etc.
Speed limits are set to ensure the maximum safety of all road users, pedestrians and drivers / riders. Advising the public of any specific tolerances that are followed when enforcing these limits would in effect, increase the speed limit for all roads on the island, negating those safety provisions. This would also hinder the ability of officers to use their discretion outside the guidelines and therefore likely to prejudice the prosecution of offenders.
The States of Jersey police believe whilst it is in the public interest to be open and transparent in many areas, there are some where the safety of the public outweighs that interest. The UK information commissioner has ruled that disclosure of this information is not on the public interest (See below). The information in this part of the request is declined.
The number of speeding prosecutions recorded since 2002 is over 9000. To search each of these to extract the information requested is not possible within the time limits allowed to complete freedom of information requests. It is not possible to respond to this part of the question.
Article 42 Law enforcement
Information is qualified exempt information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice –
(a) the prevention, detection or investigation of crime, whether in Jersey or elsewhere;
(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, whether in respect of offences committed in Jersey or elsewhere;
Article 16 A scheduled public authority may refuse to supply information if cost excessive
(1) A scheduled public authority that has been requested to supply information may refuse to supply the information if it estimates that the cost of doing so would exceed an amount determined in the manner prescribed by Regulations.
Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.
UK Information commissioner decision notice (FS50225815).
“If motorists were aware of precise speed thresholds……. then this could allow them to travel at what they perceive to be the highest speed where they are likely to evade detection; this limit may nevertheless exceed the national speed limit. Speeding above the stated limit is an offence and withholding this information from the public ensures that any driver who exceeds the speed limit would maintain the perception that they are risking criminal liability. As such, the Commissioner accepts that the information requested could have the effect of encouraging motorists to exceed the national speed limit up to the limit at which they believe they are less likely to be ‘caught’, thereby prejudicing the prevention or detection of crime and the apprehension or prosecution of offenders”.