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Villagers’ battle to stop speeding

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: October 06, 2013

A speed watch in operation

A speed watch in operation

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VILLAGERS are putting the brakes on speeding motorists and are appealing for more volunteers to help them.

 

Dilhorne Speed Watch was originally created with the help of police many years ago and was resurrected around nine months ago by villagers who were seriously concerned about the level of speeding through the village.

Now it is hoped that more volunteers will get behind the scheme to further reduce speeding and help improve road safety and awareness.

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A spokesman for the scheme said: "Dilhorne is one of a number of villages in the Staffordshire Moorlands and other rural communities which suffers from speeding motorists who think no one will catch them and they can do as they please.

"Many villages are used as rat-runs for rush hour traffic, showing little or no respect for the residents living there.

"Community Speed Watch really is worthwhile; there is an old phrase that prevention is better than cure and my view is that there is no point waiting for someone to be seriously injured, or even killed, before installing traffic calming and safety measures; it's a question of educating drivers before it gets to that extent.

"As a community we need to be making people more aware that they simply can't drive as they please at speeds that suit them.

"Dilhorne has a 30mph limit, reduced to 20mph outside the school, yet it's not uncommon for vehicles to travel through at up to 45mph.

"Community Speed Watch is a way of constantly reinforcing the message that 30 is 30 for a reason and the police safety camera van will be out in support of it.

"To become a volunteer all it takes is two hours training at a police station and giving as much or as little time as you can after that.

"The more people we can get to help means that we get to be out more regularly to raise awareness that speeding dangerously throughout villages is completely necessary and people should have respect for the communities they drive through; after all it's better to get home safe than not at all."

During the six weeks from July 30 to September 12 the scheme carried out six roadside checks taking seven hours in total.

Over that time 85 vehicles were detected exceeding the speed limit of 30mph - at 35mph or above which is the Association of Chief Police Officers guideline for prosecution; 32 of those vehicles were travelling at over 40 mph, the highest being 49mph; 59 first time warning letters (CES1) were sent; 1 second time letter (CES2) has been sent - CES2 is sent if a vehicle is detected twice in twelve months and a Police Officer visits if it is detected a third time.

Steve Bird, Community Speed Watch Co-ordinator for the Safer Roads Partnership, said: "The Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership involving Councils, Police and other partners oversees more than 50 Community Speed Watch schemes in the county.

"The volunteers provide an invaluable service by supporting the Partnership and assisting in reducing vehicle speeds at their sites of operation thereby increasing road safety for all of the community and contributing to the overall reduction in collision and casualties within the County.

"Many communities have benefited from such schemes and their presence generally receives a favourable response from residents who see the change in traffic behaviour. "The low number of repeat offenders - in 2012 there were 2589 CES1 letters and only 104 repeat offenders - suggest to me that once detected motorists do make a change to their driving behaviour.

"I would encourage anyone wishing to start a scheme, or join an existing scheme to contact me on 01785 232702 or by e mail at community.

speedwatch@staffordshire.pnn.police.uk"

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