Community Speed Watch is back

Community Speed Watch is being re-launched by police

Community Speed Watch is being re-launched by police

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Northamptonshire Police is re-launching Community Speed Watch as part of its work in tackling the Fatal Four.

The force is re-launching the scheme in 11 communities across the county where speeding has been identified as a major concern for county residents.

The scheme used to be run by the Casualty Reduction Partnership but was suspended when the partnership closed in 2011.

However, the force has decided to re-launch a limited version of the Community Speed Watch as part of its work tackling the Fatal Four, an operation which targets those motorists committing the four most common offences which can contribute to serious injury or road deaths on our roads – speeding, mobile phone usage, not wearing a seatbelt and drink driving.

Community Speed Watch enables local people to become actively involved in helping to slow down traffic in 30mph zones within their community.

Members of the community are trained in the use of hand-held speed monitoring devices to track the speed of motorists in their parish. The force will then send out warning letters to the drivers.

Each community involved in the programme will receive support from their local Safer Community Team as well as a vehicle activated speed sign to highlight to motorists how fast they are travelling.

Operations Superintendent Sean Bell said he is pleased Community Speed Watch is making a return.

Supt Bell said: “Community Speed Watch was a very popular programme and we are pleased to be able to re-launch it.

“Speeding is one of the issues we receive the most complaints about from people living in our communities and we hope the scheme will have a positive impact in reducing the speed of motorists on our roads.

“Community Speed Watch is so popular that I am sure more villages will want to take part, however at the moment we have funding to be able to run the scheme in a limited number of villages, although we would like to extend it in the future if this scheme is a success and more funding becomes available.”

The communities taking part in the scheme have been selected because they have the biggest problem with speeding.

The villages are Rothersthorpe, Kislingbury, Bugbrooke, Croughton, Kings Sutton, Wilbarston, Rockingham, Middleton, Dingley, Pytchley and Isham.

Supt Bell said: “Our messages on speeding are clear, speed limits are not a target and keeping to the speed limit could make the difference between life and death.

“It is also vital that motorists adjust to the conditions they are faced with rather than automatically drive to the limit, slow down if there is bad weather and don’t assume it is safe to break the speed limit on rural roads because there is less traffic – there can be more hazards.”

Northamptonshire County Council and Northamptonshire ACRE are supporting the initiative, providing support from the Speed Indicator Team and providing a community link

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: “We are committed to reducing casualties on the county’s highways and continue to work with our partners to achieve this goal.

“We are pleased to be contributing to this very worthwhile initiative, which allows people to be involved in reducing traffic speed in their communities.

“We have always taken road safety issues seriously and this is just another example of how we are successfully working together.”