Monday, 1 October 2012

Could you help combat speeding?

Are you worried about speeding in your road? Would you like to get involved in tackling the problem?

Community Speed Watch groups are made up of volunteers who get together to carry out speed checks in their area. Those caught get a warning letter and if caught repeatedly will get a visit from the police. These groups have proved effective elsewhere in tackling speeding.

There are already well established groups in some of our communities, such as Westerleigh and Frampton Cotterell and new ones are in the process of being set up in others, like Coalpit Heath and Codrington.

South Gloucestershire Council has been working to improve support for the groups. They have agreed new kit with the police, which includes a new, lighter speed gun, dictaphones to make it easier to record the details of vehicles, reflective jackets and other useful items. Not only is it hoped that this package will be more effective than the existing ones, it is also considerably cheaper, enabling new groups to be kitted out for under £500 rather than £2000.

Each group has a volunteer co-ordinator. The co-ordinators across South Gloucestershire have got together in a network, with a small steering group. They are happy to support new groups by sending out experienced volunteers to help with the early sessions and are co-ordinating the training, which in the past has been an issue.

New, free software is being used to co-ordinate the data across South Gloucestershire, so that if drivers get caught in different parts of the area they will be recognised as repeat offenders rather than getting multiple first-time letters.

South Gloucestershire Council and the police are working together to support the volunteers more effectively. The groups are to be given better feedback, so they can see the effect they are having. The council will install interactive speed signs twice a year at all speed watch locations and the police will attend some of the speed watch sessions and visit sites where there is a clear pattern of speeding.

If you would like to get involved, please contact your Focus Team for more information.

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