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Session 2000-2001
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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Road Transport Bill




Require local authorities to take measures to safeguard motorists and pedestrians from the effects of snow and ice; to require local authorities to assess the appropriateness of speed limits; to simplify the procedure for making speed limits; to ban the use of hand-held telephones by drivers of motor vehicles; to amend the law with respect to the wearing of seat belts; and to extend the area within which mandatory travel concessions outside Greater London apply.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Snow and ice
Snow and ice on roads.     1. - (1) The authority who are for the time being the highway authority for a highway maintainable at public expense shall take such steps as they consider reasonable to prevent snow and ice endangering the safe passage of pedestrians and vehicles over the highway.
      (2) In this section, "highway authority" and "highway maintainable at public expense" shall have the same meaning as in Part I of the Highways Act 1980.
Speed limits
Review of speed limits.     2. - (1) It shall be the duty of every local traffic authority to prepare, at such time or times as the Secretary of State may direct, a speed limit review containing-
    (a) an assessment of the speed limits in their area,
    (b) a list of speed limits which they consider inappropriate by virtue of the limit imposed or the placement of the limit, and
    (c) a list of speed limits which they propose to alter, in the form of a draft order.
      (2) The review must also contain any other information or proposals which-
    (a) relate to speed limits in the area, and
    (b) are required by guidance under subsection (4).
      (3) The review may specify different strategies for different parts of the local traffic authority's area or for different classes of local road.
      (4) The Secretary of State may issue guidance to local traffic authorities in relation to-
    (a) the preparation and content of reviews under this section, and
    (b) consultation in connection with the preparation of such reviews,
       and a local traffic authority shall have regard to any guidance when preparing a review.
      (5) The consultation undertaken by the local traffic authority shall include-
    (a) the chief officer of police of any police area, and
    (b) any other local authority,
       whose area contains or would be affected by any proposed alteration to a speed limit in the review.
      (6) Where a local traffic authority have prepared a review under this section they shall-
    (a) send the review to the Secretary of State, and
    (b) publish a copy of the review in such manner as they consider appropriate.
      (7) The Secretary of State shall lay a copy of every review received by him under subsection (6)(a) before each House of Parliament.
      (8) In this section-
    "local authority" shall have the same meaning as in section 270(1) of the Local Government Act 1972, and
    "local traffic authority" shall have the same meaning as in section 121A of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.
Alteration of speed limits.     3. Where a local traffic authority have produced a draft order for alterations to speed review report under section 2(1)(c), then that draft order may be made into an order once the speed limit review has been published under section 2(6), notwithstanding any requirements of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 or regulations made thereunder.
Mobile telephones
Use of mobile telephones.     4. - (1) After section 40A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (using vehicle in dangerous condition etc.) there is inserted-
"Using mobile telephones.     40B. A person is guilty of an offence if he drives a motor vehicle on a road while he is using a mobile telephone which is held in a hand."
      (2) The Schedule to this Act, which makes amendments consequential on subsection (1), shall have effect.
Seat belts
Wearing of seat belts: exceptions.     5. For section 14(2)(b)(i) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (seat belts: adults) there is substituted-
      "(i) the driver of or a passenger in a motor vehicle constructed or adapted for carrying a burden, while on a journey which does not exceed the prescribed distance and which is undertaken for the purpose of delivering or collecting any thing,".
Wearing of seat belts by children.     6. - (1) In Part I of Schedule 2 to the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 in column (4) (punishment) of the entry relating to section 15(4) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (driving vehicle with child in rear not wearing seat belt) for "Level 1 on the standard scale" there shall be substituted "Level 2 on the standard scale".
      (2) This section shall have effect in respect of offences committed after the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed.
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Prepared 6 February 2001