Communities in Gloucestershire battle speeding traffic
COMMUNITIES in Gloucestershire are trying a new approach in their ongoing battle with speeding traffic in residential areas.
Community Speed Watch is in its early stages, with pilot operations being tried in Alstone, Birdlip and Daglingworth.
Andy Fogden of Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “Many communities appear to have problems with speeding vehicles in the area. Speeding is a particular problem when traffic comes off the dual carriageways and fails to slow down.”
Andy stressed the project is community-based and does not rely upon the police. “This project aims to put power in the hands of communities, allowing them to solve their own issues, with support from the police and partner agencies,” he said.
Volunteers are trained by police community support officers (PCSOs) to carry out basic speed checks and are loaned hand-held speed detection radars by Gloucester Roads Safety Partnership. The volunteers are then allowed to carry out checks independently in 20, 30 and 40 mph zones to collect evidence of speeding vehicles.
“The project is designed to educate drivers and get them to change their habits, it’s not about penalising them,” said Andy. “Many of the offenders in local villages are residents and when they see their neighbours carrying out speed checks, it makes them think twice and change their behaviour,” he added.
In the first instance, details of the vehicle and location are recorded. On the next occasion, the community group sends a letter to the driver via the police, explaining the impact on the community. If the driver persists in speeding, a formal letter is sent by the police and the driver is prosecuted.
Andy said: “Community Speed Watch is not the answer to everything, but it is another of the tools in our box which enable us to deal with the problem of speeding.”
For more information, visit www.gloucestershire.police.uk.