Police, fire and rescue service and the Welsh Government are taking an "engagement first" approach when it comes to enforcing the 20mph speed limit in Wales.

Wales became one of the first countries in the world, and the first nation in the UK, to lower the default national speed limit on residential roads from 30mph to 20mph in September.

The Welsh Government said the change in speed limit was introduced to reduce collisions, save lives and reduce injuries. 

The move has been met with backlash from residents, with over 460,000 people signing a petition in opposition of the new speed limit.

Several 20mph speed signs across Wales have also been defaced in protest.

The 20mph speed limit was introduced on residential roads across Wales on September 17, but motorists have been given a "grace period" to get used to the change.

How and when will the 20mph speed limit in Wales be enforced?

In October, Deputy Climate Change Minister, Lee Waters MS, said the "grace period" for the 20mph speed limit was coming to an end and confirmed that enforcement in Wales was set to begin on December 17.

But that now doesn't seem to be the case. 

GoSafe is a partnership made up of authorities including the Welsh Government and Wales emergency services who are helping manage the 20mph change

They have revealed an "engagement first" policy will be taken when it comes to drivers caught over the 20mph in areas where the speed limit was changed in September 2023. 

Three new engagement teams were rolled out on Monday (January 8) by GoSafe as part of "Operation UGAIN" a partnership between the police, fire and rescue service and Welsh Government to monitor motorists driving over the 20mph speed limit.

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A GoSafe spokesperson explaining how the new enforcement policy will work, said: "This will support the engagement first approach of offering a short presentation to the public who are witnessed by a police officer speeding in a 20mph limit. 

"These people will have the option of an engagement session delivered by the Fire and Rescue Service. 

"They can choose to decline and instead receive a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) for speeding. 

"If they are eligible, they will be offered a driver education course. 

"Those not eligible will either receive a conditional offer of fixed penalty (points and a fine), or go to court, depending on their existing number of points on their licence and/or speed they were travelling.

"Those who are excessively breaking the limit will not be eligible for the engagement session and will be prosecuted, these will usually be in the minority."

The aim of operation UGAIN is to "inform the public of the importance of driving at no more than 20mph in these areas, and that “streetlights mean 20mph (unless otherwise stated)".   

GoSafe added: "Whilst these engagement sessions have been taking place for some time with the police and fire and rescue services in Wales, the Welsh Government have funded an increase in personnel able to deliver these sessions in order to deliver further sessions in 20mph."

Full enforcement of the new 20mph speed limit is still yet to be rolled out in Wales, according to GoSafe.

Although more engagement teams are being introduced across Wales from Monday (January 8), GoSafe said: "Chief Constables in Wales are still reviewing evidence in relation to enforcing 20mph areas where the speed limit changed in September 2023. 

"A full announcement will be made on police and GoSafe channels before enforcement will commence.

"Our aim is to inform the public to maximise compliance."

Meanwhile, enforcement on certain sites where the speed limit was already 20mph before the change in September has resumed after a brief pause at the back end of 2023.

GoSafe has a dedicated 20mph roadside engagement and enforcement webpage where you can find more information on the new speed limit and the enforcement schemes in place.