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SpeedWatch November 2018 Newsletter

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Curry Rivel Community SpeedWatch.... More Volunteers Are Needed.

Speedwatch activity is not about interfering with neighbours' behaviour; it is a proactive solution to improve the safety and quality of life for everyone in the community.

Volunteers have been observing and recording vehicles travelling through our village for approximately 15 years. At the beginning, the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limits compared to the total number passing was ten per cent. Over the years, this percentage has reduced to about one and a half per cent . This excellent situation is, of course, whilst SpeedWatch operates – who knows what the figure would be otherwise – I suspect much higher. We all know there are many speeding vehicles , drivers seemingly incapable or uncaring how fast they drive in restricted areas. The fact that 'watches' are organised on a random basis – sites, days and times – creates a definite incentive for vehicles to be driven at appropriate speeds. Clearly, this not enough and I am endeavouring to obtain the Highways Agency's agreement to provide a measure of traffic calming, with ultimately villagers' approval. It is a slow process.

Over recent times, the number of volunteers has reduced, owing to a number of reasons. We have very recently lost a very loyal member – Madelaine King-Oakley. Her untimely death was a keen shock to us all, as well as many others in the village. So often she offered to volunteer when numbers were short, despite her involvement in a host of other village activities, particularly the Parish Council. As a mark of respect, watches are suspended for a period before and after the Service of Thanksgiving. We miss her greatly as do many others.

Madelaine's passing has accelerated the need for more volunteers to join us. I urge villagers to give serious consideration to join us. One has to be trained by the Police, lasting two hours. Usually, I arrange two SpeedWatch sessions per week, each lasting one hour. Volunteers are invited to offer dates when they are able and wish to participate. There is no rota – just to take part if and when they are free and willing. I hope there will be a positive response to my appeal for more volunteers as a memorial to Madelaine.

Community Speedwatch (CSW) is a national initiative where active members of local communities join with the support of the Police to monitor speeds of vehicles using speed detection devices.
Vehicles exceeding the speed limit are referred to the Police with the aim of educating drivers to reduce their speeds. In cases where education is blatantly ignored and evidence of repeat or excessive offences is collated (even across county borders), enforcement and prosecution follow.
CSW Online is working on behalf of the Police and communities to organise and coordinate CSW activity. Speeding is not just a local phenomenon – neither is Speedwatch.
Speeding continues to be a concern for many communities in both rural and urban environments. Therefore, Community Speedwatch is not restricted to villages and rural towns. Neighbourhood Policing Panels have an important role to play in developing safer urban communities and the adoption of speedwatch schemes could assist them to more easily achieve their goals.
Volunteers receive appropriate training, and are supported by neighbourhood policing team (NPT) staff. The scheme aims to cater for the problem of real or perceived speed related offending, and through partnership with the community it is to be used in circumstances that are necessary, justifiable and proportionate in order to:
Reduce death and injury on the roads
Improve the quality of life for local communities
Reduce the speed of vehicles to the speed limit
Increase public awareness of inappropriate speed
Speedwatch activity is not about interfering with neighbours' behaviour; it is a proactive solution to improve the safety and quality of life for everyone in the community.

Robert Crowley Community SpeedWatch Coordinator 259434

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