Drivers were targeted in the North of Edinburgh today (Thu. 14th March) in a thought-provoking approach to raising the awareness of Edinburgh’s 20mph residential zones.

This, the first in a series of events held by the Council and Police Scotland, saw speeding drivers stopped and offered an education session highlighting the potential consequences of their actions.

Ploice measuring drivers' speed
Officers checking speeds on Inverleith Place

As part of the 20mph Roadside Education Pilot, people breaking the speed limit on Inverleith Place were pulled over by the police and invited into a police command vehicle, where Council Transport Officers talked them through the potential impact their speed could have on the severity of a collision. They were then shown a powerful short video featuring Royal High Primary School children, who had asked the Council to help them reduce speeds around their school.

Since the launch and roll-out of 20mph speed limits across Edinburgh, which was completed one year ago, the Council has worked closely with the police to achieve behaviour change, encouraging slower speeds through education and awareness-raising.

oadside education is the latest prevention activity to be carried out by the partnership, and has been inspired by similar initiatives in Birmingham and Liverpool, where 20mph limits have been widely introduced.

One Officer was almost ‘collected’ by a female driver texting while driving too fast.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “Thanks to today’s Roadside Education event, we’ve been able to spread the word about the benefits of 20mph even further, encouraging drivers to really think about the impact slower speeds can have.

“One year on from the completion of the roll-out we’re already seeing the positive effects, with people telling us how much they enjoy the safer, more relaxed environment as well as community members requesting to add more streets to the 20mph network.

“We really want to foster this support, and through events like today, we hope to reach out to drivers across the city to share the message – ’20’s plenty’.”

Two police officers in high-vis jackets
Police on ’20mph Zone awareness’ duty

Sergeant Iain Blain from Edinburgh’s Road Policing Unit said: “Educating motorists on the 20mph zones, and the importance of adhering to this speed limit, is just as much of a necessity as enforcement. Where operational demand will allow, we will continue to support our colleagues at the City of Edinburgh Council with matters relating to 20mph zones throughout the city.

“Our approach to policing these areas is no different to any other roads with varying speed limits. Any offences that are brought to our attention will be investigated and where appropriate, the necessary action will be taken.”

Edinburgh is the first city in Scotland to implement a 20mph network, which aims to create calmer, more welcoming and people-friendly streets, encouraging active travel.

Image of a hand-held speed camera
In a ’20’ Zone…

Last year, an online toolkit of activities and resources was launched to help local communities embrace and encourage 20mph limits in their area, including information and guidance along with practical activities, like making use of ‘Pop-up Bob’ on their streets.

Following the success of today’s event, further Roadside Education sessions are planned for streets around the city.

Find out more about 20mph for Edinburgh online.