Man fined for breaking 20mph law says politicians’ talk ‘makes my blood boil’

Owen Bright was one of the first people fined for breaking Wales’ default 20mph speed limit when he was caught driving at 27mph in one of the areas where the slower speed was trialled. The road where he was caught in St Brides Major, Vale of Glamorgan, has since been lifted back up to a 30mph limit and he says politicians talking about “warnings and bedding-in periods” makes “my blood boil”. More people were fined in St Brides Major during the trial period, with a total of 291 fines handed out, than have since been given to drivers throughout Wales since 20mph became the default speed limit across the nation in September last year.

Mr Bright took a speed awareness course and paid an GBP85 fine. He said he agrees with 20mph in the village, he finds the idea that people will be given an opportunity to explain whether they understood the speed limit was “nonsense”. First Minister Mark Drakeford has said people who are “genuinely confused” will not be fined.

Most people are however unaware they have been caught by a GoSafe mobile or fixed camera until they are contacted via post. For the latest politics news in Wales sign up to our newsletter here[3]. Mr Bright said: “At the time I just had to take it on the chin and endure the speed awareness course and GBP85 fine but when I hear them talk about warnings and bedding in periods it does make my blood boil.

I actually agree with 20 mph for part of St Brides but why was the police motorcycle on the edge of the village instead of by the school[4] or shop. Almost all tickets are issued automatically now so this idea of a roadside chat is just nonsense,” he said. The First Minister told a press conference those who were “genuinely confused”[5] would be able to speak to police.

There is also a scheme called Operation Ugain running where drivers caught speeding are stopped, told they will be fined but offered the chance to carry out a roadside course to avoid fines or any points. Operation Ugain is being run with Welsh Government[6] funding by police, fire service officers and staff from GoSafe. Police can also stop speeding drivers and punish them directly.

The location in St Brides Major where Owen Bright was fined for speeding

The number of drivers caught via GoSafe mobile enforcement cameras in St Brides Major between January and August, when the trial was in process is more than were given out in the whole of Wales since enforcement started in November.

In November, GoSafe clocked 95 offences and in December that rose to 119. Before the law came into force, eight areas across Wales were selected as pilot schemes. They were St Dogmaels in Pembrokeshire[7], St Brides Major in the Vale of Glamorgan, Llanelli[8] (north), Buckley in Flintshire[9], Cardiff[10] (north), Cilfrew in Neath Porth[11] Talbot, Abergavenny and Severnside (Caerwent, Caldicot, Magor and Undy) in Monmouthshire[12].

The First Minister visited St Brides Major days before the law came into force to see the “positive impact 20mph” was having. The Welsh Government say on their website “the most significant positive behaviour changes were observed in St Brides Major and St Dogmaels. People travelling at or below 24mph in St Brides Major has increased from 23% to 45% following the introduction of 20mph.

And in St Dogmaels there has been an increase from 54% to 84%.” The breakdown in St Brides Major: January: 54

February: 38 March: 63 April: 9

May: 37 June: 42 July: 43

August: 5 Total: 291 The breakdown from the whole of Wales since the 20mph default law came into force.

November: 95 December: 119 Total: 214

The highest offence speed in both months was 37mph, with the average dropping from 28.3mph in November to 27.9mph in December.

A GoSafe spokesperson said: “Enforcement was used in two locations in St Brides Major in response to numerous speeding concerns from the local community.

The aim of this enforcement activity is always our main objective – to reduce the risk of casualties on the road.”


  1. ^ Man filmed screaming as police arrive moments before his death (
  2. ^ How much council tax is set to go up by in every part of Wales (
  3. ^ here (
  4. ^ school (
  5. ^ those who were “genuinely confused” (
  6. ^ Welsh Government (
  7. ^ Pembrokeshire (
  8. ^ Llanelli (
  9. ^ Flintshire (
  10. ^ Cardiff (
  11. ^ Porth (
  12. ^ Monmouthshire (