Road safety and speeding
Only the police can enforce speed limits and issue penalties for speeding and dangerous driving, but we can help set speed limits, introduce traffic calming measures and provide safe junctions.
Keeping speed down
Speed is a significant factor in about one third of road crashes and speeding vehicles can affect the quality of life of many urban communities.
We have introduced 20mph limits in Dunstable and Shefford, making them safer for cyclists and pedestrians as well as drivers.
Changing speed limits
We receive many requests from residents to help reduce speeding and rat running. If a change in the speed limit is agreed then a new Speed Limit Order has to be made. This statutory legal process takes approximately 9 months to complete.
Speed control humps help slow traffic. They must be between 50mm and 100mm high and extend over the full width of the road, except for drainage channels at either end. 75mm high humps are the most common, and have been found to reduce traffic to around 22 mph. Flat topped humps known as speed tables are sometimes used to reduce the impact on long vehicles such as buses.
The enforcement of speed limits is the responsibility of the police. If you think vehicles are travelling in excess of the permitted speed limit on a regular basis, please contact Bedfordshire Police on the non-urgent number of 101.
Although only the police can enforce the speed limit, the public can also get involved in helping raise awareness of speeding through the Community Speedwatch programme.
We receive many requests for traffic calming measures which far outweigh the limited funding available for these schemes. Our funds are targeted at areas with a history of speed-related collisions and measures will only be introduced at locations where there is an identifiable problem (that is, a trend in collisions) and will be chosen based on the likelihood of road safety improvements.
Unfortunately, since the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures began, increased speeding by some individuals has been observed across the whole country. Lower traffic volumes have sadly led to increased levels of speed limit disobedience. Empty roads should not be an excuse to drive dangerously.
If speeding remains a problem once the traffic conditions return to near normal, any traffic calming proposals can be assessed on whether there is a proven road safety issue with the support of your local councillor (find your councillor) and town or parish council. At this time, we are only reviewing critical safety issues.
To report a critical safety issue, please call us on 0300 300 8049 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download our speed management strategy (PDF 421.6KB) ; please ensure you have read about how we set limits or adjust them, provided within our strategy, before requesting a change to a speed limit.