Traffic Management

Speed Limits

Devon County Council as Highway Authority has the power to introduce a speed limit on a road. The general rule is that:

  • Urban and rural areas with a system of streetlights are subject to a 30mph restriction
  • Other areas having a 30mph speed limit or the introduction of other speed limits, say 20, 40 or 50mph require a Traffic Regulation Order.

Applications to reduce the speed limit in your area should be made to your Area Highway Management Office in the first instance.


The enforcement of all speed limits is the responsibility of the Police. The Highway Authority can only undertake speed measurement by laser radar or tube detector for information.

The Authority does, however, use interactive signs as a method of speed reduction, the signs are used at problem areas. They detect vehicles travelling above the speed limit and then illuminate a speed limit sign to remind the driver. They can also be set to slow the actual vehicle speed if more appropriate. These new technology approaches are being monitored for their effectiveness, but initial trials have given good results.

Safety Cameras

Safety Cameras are used where there is a history of accidents caused by excessive speed or by motorists failing to stop at traffic lights.

Their main aim is to reduce the number of casualties on Devon's roads, which will contribute to the County Council's target of reducing the number of people injured or killed by 40% by the year 2010. Devon County Council, in conjunction with other local authorities and the police, have formed the Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership. This allows the County Council to use some of the revenue from camera fines for additional road safety measures.