Peter advises of his investigation into Speedwatch to cut traffic speeds through the village
ARE YOU FED UP WITH DRIVERS SPEEDING THROUGH OUR VILLAGE?
Well you are not alone. At the last Parish Council Meeting I was tasked with finding out more about Community Speedwatch. Here is some information.
What is Community Speedwatch? Community Speed Watch (CSW) schemes arose from an idea to involve local residents in speed reduction activity in the village of Ash, Somerset. After a successful pilot in the eastern area of Norfolk, the scheme is now being rolled out county wide. Put simply, speed monitoring is carried out by trained volunteers from the community, with follow-up work on education and enforcement by Norfolk Police and your Local Authority.
Initially, letters are sent to registered keepers of offending vehicles asking for their assistance in keeping speeds down in your community, with persistent offenders targeted for police enforcement. Local Authority Road Safety staff can help with supporting initiatives, including the use of Speed Indicator Devices (SiD's).
Isn't this a police job?
Norfolk Constabulary is committed to achieving casualty reduction targets, and include "reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the road" as part of their Policing Plan. With ever-greater demand it is simply not possible to carry out speed enforcement checks in every community that wants them on a regular basis. Indeed, having to prioritise resources means that some communities that have a speeding problem without a corresponding collision record may be unlikely to see meaningful levels of enforcement. This is where working together can help.
Does it work?
In 2007 the scheme was trialled in Hopton and was quickly rolled out across a number of Parishes within the Eastern Area of the County with great success. There is no reason why this could not be as successful in other areas provided that schemes are set-up and run in accordance with guidelines developed during the trial.
OK. So how do I start a scheme in my community?
If you and other members of the community think that speeding traffic has a dangerous or negative social impact on your area, then involve your local Council as their support will be vital. If it appears that there are others who would like to volunteer to take an active role in speed monitoring, then forming a group is a good next step - maybe there are other small parish councils nearby with similar issues you could link into, making a geographical connection to a common purpose?
Norfolk County Council road safety team, fully support CSW, and should be contacted at an early stage to discuss what they are able to offer your group.
You may find that some people want to help, but not stand at the roadside - excellent! The follow-up administration may require that volunteers are needed to help process the letters to drivers.
So there you are, briefly that is what it is all about.
Now in order for this to work we will need volunteers, the more the merrier, as then you will only have to be involved for short periods now and then. It is NOT our intention to flood the roadside with continuous speed monitoring, but to target known periods when drivers break the law passing through the village. Once the message gets through, and word gets around, our residents, children especially, and the wildlife should be much safer. You never know drivers may actually appreciate our village by seeing it as they pass through!
We shall be distributing information to every household in Boughton asking for volunteers, and you can find more information at this website; http://www.norfolk.police.uk/artPDF/CommunitySpeedwatchBooklet.pdf
Alternatively phone either Frank Reid Chairman of the Parish Council on 01366 500743 or me Peter Agate Parish Councillor on 01366 500044 (leave a message if necessary) to register your interest.
Keep watching this space for more information on Community Speedwatch.