A new community-driven road safety initiative has been launched today, which gives local residents the opportunity to address community concern about traffic speed and play an active role in improving the safety of their local community.
The new scheme, called Community Speed Watch, is being supported by the Safer Roads Partnership team within Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police, but will be managed and run by volunteers in the community. While the scheme is already well established within Warwickshire, West Mercia’s very first Community Speed Watch scheme has launched today in Church Road in Crowle, Worcestershire and a number of additional sites will be launching across Warwickshire and West Mercia over the coming months.
Community Speed Watch schemes involve trained volunteers from the community monitoring the speeds of vehicles with approved, hand-held speed measurement devices. Where vehicle speeds are found to be inappropriate, a letter is sent to the registered keeper by the police with the aim of encouraging them to reduce their speed when driving in the future.
Rod Reynolds, Safer Roads Partnership Manager, said:
“The Safer Roads Partnership is very pleased to announce the launch of the Community Speed Watch scheme. Excessive or inappropriate speed affects the quality of life for many communities across Warwickshire and West Mercia. Enabling local communities to take an active role in addressing concerns about speeding traffic allows us to be more responsive to the needs of local communities and will enhance our road safety and casualty reduction strategy. We hope the new site in Crowle will be the first of a series to see a positive change in driver behaviour and compliance with the speed limit.”
A Community Speed Watch scheme is initiated when ‘speeding traffic’ has been identified as a community road safety concern by a parish council, safer neighbourhood team or community forum. However, a number of criteria must be met before a scheme can be established:
- The area must have a 30mph or 40mph speed restriction.
- Speed data collected by the Safer Roads Partnership must show that speed levels in the area do not meet the national industry requirements for police enforcement.
- No other enforcement activity is currently in place.
- There must be at least six volunteers in each Community Speed Watch scheme.
- Speed checks must be conducted by at least three volunteers at any one time.
Community Speed Watch schemes will be evaluated to ensure they are having a positive impact on vehicle speed, driver behaviour and community reassurance.
Local residents who are worried about speeding traffic should raise their concerns with their local parish council, safer neighbourhood team or community forum, who will then bring it to the attention of the Safer Roads Partnership. Speed data can then be collected to determine the nature of the problem and action will be taken accordingly.