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Dangerous driving

Volume 729: debated on Tuesday 7 March 2023

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that the issue of dangerous driving within the constituency of Bradford South must urgently be addressed; notes that speeding, thoughtless parking, anti-social vehicle use, and the reckless use of off-road vehicles are common issues; notes that that these are a threat to life and the quality of life of residents; and further that there must be a reallocation of funds to invest more in the policing of roads.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to police roads frequently and urgently introduce measures to reduce dangerous driving, speeding, thoughtless parking, anti-social vehicle use, and the reckless use of off-road vehicles in the constituency of Bradford South.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Judith Cummins, Official Report, 8 February 2023; Vol. 727, c. 990.]


Observations from The Minister of State for Crime, Policing and Fire (Chris Philp):

The Government recognise that any form of antisocial, dangerous or inconsiderate behaviour involving vehicles is a serious issue. All available research shows a link between excessive speed and the risk of collisions. We expect all drivers to observe the speed limit.

However, law enforcement, including the enforcement of law on the roads, is an operational matter for the police. It is for the police to enforce road traffic legislation and investigate road traffic incidents using their professional judgment. Chief officers will decide how to deploy available resources in conjunction with local policing plans, taking into account the specific local problems and demands with which they are faced. They are best placed to understand how to meet the needs of local communities like the constituency of Bradford South.

Police and Crime Commissioners will identify local needs and in consultation with the Chief Constable draw up a five-year police and crime plan which sets out the local policing priorities.

The police have the power under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 to seize vehicles being used in an antisocial manner. In addition, the Government have provided the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to all forms of antisocial behaviour, including that involving vehicles, through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances of each case.

The Government are proposing a total police funding settlement of up to £17.2 billion in 2023-24, an increase of up to £287 million when compared with 2022-23. West Yorkshire Police will receive up to £560.8 million in 2023-24, an increase of up to £18.9 million on 2022-23.

In addition, the Government are delivering on the people’s priorities by recruiting an additional 20,000 police officers across England and Wales, by March 2023. As of 31 December 2022, West Yorkshire Police has recruited 837 additional uplift officers against a total three-year allocation of 852 officers.

Roads policing is an important cross-cutting capability to respond to a number of different threats, and is responsible for the enforcement of traffic laws, detection and the response to illegal or dangerous activity on the roads. This is why we have included roads policing as a cross-cutting capability in the revised strategic policing requirement, which was published on 20 February 2023.

The Government will continue to support the police to ensure they have the tools needed to enforce road traffic legislation and ASB powers.