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Traffic Management Act 2004

Section 8: Power to confer further special powers on traffic officers

36.Section 8 makes provision for the appropriate national authority to confer further “special powers” on traffic officers by order made by statutory instrument.

37.The Act imposes limitations on both the extent of the powers which may be conferred as well as the purposes for which they may be exercised. Firstly, subsection (2) requires the national authority to be satisfied that any such special power would be necessary to facilitate the performance of any duties which may be assigned to traffic officers. The duties which may be assigned to traffic officers are defined by section 1.

38.Secondly, the exercise of special powers is subject to the restrictions set out in section 5. Subsection (3) of that section provides that special powers may only be exercised for one or more of the purposes specified there.

39.Subsection (3)(b) provides that an order may contain supplemental, incidental transitional or consequential provisions including provision amending existing legislation. The possible use for this power can be seen in the existing special powers granted to traffic officers by sections 6 and 7 of the Act and the associated repeals (see section 98 and Part 2 of Schedule 12). The approach adopted for conferring these special powers is to extend to traffic officers the existing statutory powers granted to police officers. This approach requires amendment of or reference to relevant statutes. It is likely that any further special powers would be similarly granted by way of adoption of existing statutory provisions, or by way of addition to existing road traffic legislation necessitating alteration of related provisions. The wording used in subsection (3)(b) would enable this.

40.The Secretary of State may not make such an instrument unless a draft has been approved by both Houses of Parliament. One made by the National Assembly in relation to Wales would be subject to the Assembly’s own procedures, in accordance with the Government of Wales Act 1998. These include a requirement for an affirmative vote of the Assembly in plenary session.

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