Community speed watch volunteers helping to reduce speeding

Southend speedwatch

A total of 1,343 community speed watch sessions were carried out by volunteers across Essex last year.

Statistics published by Essex Police show that more than 500 volunteers, from 90 registered groups, took part in the scheme in 2017 – helping the Safer Essex Roads Partnership to reduce speeding.

Figures also show that 4,108 people were killed or injured on the county’s roads in 2017 – with Essex Police describing speed as a ‘major contributory factor’.

Community speed watch is a national initiative that sees fully trained members of the public use speed detection devices to monitor vehicles travelling on roads with limits of 20mph, 30mph or 40mph.

If a speed offence is detected, a letter is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle – with the aim of educating them to reduce their speed and stick to speed limits.

Repeat offenders – or those who are ‘well over’ the speed limit – are highlighted to Essex Police’s casualty reduction team, who decide whether to prosecute.

Last year, 15,290 letters were sent to Essex residents, 125 new volunteers were trained and 133 new sites were approved as locations for community speed watch sessions.

The scheme is jointly managed by Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS), who say the arrangement is just one of the ways emergency services are working together to provide the best service to the people of Essex.

Chief supt Carl O’Malley, programme lead for collaboration between Essex Police and ECFRS, said:

“This a great practical example of day to day collaboration between emergency services.

“Essex Police had a number of volunteers providing speed watch coverage across the county and ECFRS were able to manage the administration of these committed and dedicated members of the public in order to achieve a more effective and efficient way of delivering road safety.”

Roger Hirst, police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex, has been a community speed watch volunteer in Brentwood for six years.

Mr Hirst said:

“I am passionate about improving safety on our roads. Volunteering for community speed watch is a great way of making a real difference in your own communities.

“The information we can pick up and give to the police to deter people from bad driving really does help.”

Andrea MacAlister, volunteer manager at ECFRS, said:

“Community speed watch is a great way for the local community to support the countywide effort to make Essex Roads Safer.

“Speeding not only increases the risk of serious injury and fatalities on our roads but is one of the most common concerns in communities.

“Our community speed watch volunteers do a fantastic job raising awareness of the issue and educating drivers; we are very grateful for their efforts.”

Click here to register interest in becoming a speed watch volunteer.

06 June 2018

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