Speedwatch trial for residents to tackle speeding motorists

PUBLISHED: 11:50 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 04 May 2010

RESIDENTS will play a key role in a project to tackle speeding motorists launched in Soham on Tuesday. Speedwatch was set up by Cambridgeshire police after members of the public complained at public Neighbourhood Panel meetings that drivers were exceedi

RESIDENTS will play a key role in a project to tackle speeding motorists launched in Soham on Tuesday.

Speedwatch was set up by Cambridgeshire police after members of the public complained at public Neighbourhood Panel meetings that drivers were exceeding speed limits.

Five people, including Soham town councillor Nigel Driver, will head out on the roads for a three-month pilot scheme after receiving training in the use of speed monitoring equipment.

Advisory letters will be sent to speeding drivers, and if the scheme is successful, the initiative could be rolled out across East Cambridgeshire.

Sector Inspector Alan Savill said: "This is a great opportunity for the community to get involved in the policing of their roads.

"For many residents speeding is an emotive issue and is the most frequent problem to be highlighted as a priority at neighbourhood panel meetings.

"Often the areas perceived to have a problem are not featured as casualty reduction sites. This scheme means the public can help us to build up a picture of how serious the problem is."

The speed detection equipment used in the pilot will not be conventional speed guns but a monitor which displays vehicle speed. The registered owner of any vehicle caught exceeding the speed limit will be sent an advisory letter from the neighbourhood policing team, explaining that speeding is unacceptable to the local community.

Insp Savill added: "This initiative is about reducing speed on the district's roads and empowering communities to influence the speed of vehicles and promote good driver behaviour. Information gathered in this process will enable police and the Highways Agency to target enforcement measures to deal with persistent offenders at hot-spot locations."

District councillor Derrick Beckett, chairman of the Soham & East Neighbourhood Panel, said: "I am delighted to see the development of the Speedwatch initiative, prompted by residents' concerns voiced at the neighbourhood panel. This is a testament to the commitment of parish councils in demanding a response to a critical issue, and an excellent example of the agencies working with the community they serve. It reinforces that the neighbourhood panel process, trialled in Soham & East villages, is getting results. This highlights the role of the panels in bringing people closer to the services they use."

The scheme will run in Soham, Chippenham, Wickham, Fordham, Isleham, Kennett and Snailwell.

Cambridgeshire County Council is to launch its own Speedwatch scheme separately in late spring.

Matt Deacon, Road Safety Partnership coordinator for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "There will be a Speedwatch officer appointed to ensure the whole process is managed properly across the county.

"We will continue to work closely with the police and local communities on this extremely important issue."

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Should local people take on the role of policing their communities?

Write to; the Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4LS or email: editor@ely-standard.co.uk

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