A leaked email from a senior South Wales Police officer has said that the new 20mph speed limit in Wales will have an “influence” on how fast police can travel to emergencies and may affect how they respond.
The email, which was obtained by the Welsh Conservatives, said that the new limit would “have an impact on how police forces and other emergency services could perform their core business”. It also said that the change would “require a significant amount of driver training” for police officers.
The Welsh government has responded to the email by saying that the new speed limit will not impact on the legislation that allows emergency vehicles to exceed speed limits in the course of their duties. However, some experts have argued that the change could still lead to slower emergency response times, as drivers may be less likely to break the speed limit if it is lower.
The 20mph speed limit is due to come into effect in Wales on September 17, 2023. It will apply to all residential roads, as well as some other types of roads, such as those near schools and hospitals.
The Welsh government has said that the new speed limit is being introduced in order to make roads safer. It estimates that the change could save up to 10 lives a year. However, some people have argued that the change is unnecessary and could actually make roads more dangerous, as drivers may become frustrated and take risks.
The impact of the new speed limit on emergency response times remains to be seen. However, it is a potential concern that will need to be monitored closely.