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Traffic officers take charge

26 April 2004

New civilian officers take charge of motorway duties from the police in the West Midlands today as part of the Government’s bid to keep traffic moving.

Traffic officers will help to keep motorways clear

New civilian officers take charge of motorway duties from the police in the West Midlands today as part of the Government’s bid to keep traffic moving.

By late next year 1200 Highways Agency traffic officers will have taken responsibility for all motorways in the UK as well as a handful of major A-roads. It is hoped that they will improve traffic flow by clearing accidents, co-ordinating the work of the emergency services, closing lanes, escorting unusual loads and responding to emergency roadside calls made by motorists.

Police will continue to prosecute motorists for driving offences and attend fatal road accidents. While the new traffic officers cannot impose fines or penalty points on motorists, failing to follow their instructions can lead to prosecution.

The Government wants to hand over more powers to civilian agencies using the Traffic Management Bill which is currently working its way through Parliament. The bill gives councils the power to fine motorists for minor traffic offences such as ignoring no right turn signs.

The responsibility for enforcing parking regulations has already been transferred from police traffic wardens to local authority parking attendants and seen a sharp rise in the number of tickets issued.

Visit www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/misc/tcc/traf_off/02.htm to see the planned roll out of the new traffic officers.

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