Citizen speed scheme controversial but effective

THERE is no doubt that the Speedwatch campaign is a highly charged emotional issue. The idea of citizens spying on citizens, or rather, how some see this, is resulting in deep controversy across the UK, just not Huntingdonshire. Speedwatch is foremost an

THERE is no doubt that the Speedwatch campaign is a highly charged emotional issue. The idea of citizens spying on citizens, or rather, how some see this, is resulting in deep controversy across the UK, just not Huntingdonshire.

Speedwatch is foremost an educational programme, and for that reason I support it. Speedwatch does not result in prosecution. Alternatives to Speedwatch are forcing onto the motoring community GPS speed control, speed humps, chicanes and all sorts of unpleasant obstacles for drivers to negotiate.

Therefore, until a better idea comes along, Speedwatch is a programme that, despite its criticisms, offers a solution to the speeding problem in communities.

It should also be remembered, this is not only an educational programme for

speeders, but the Speedwatch operators and authorities are learning too.

The great danger is alienation within the community and an answer has to be found to this problem. Turning our backs as a society on the issue of what some perceive rightly as anti-social driving, is not the answer.

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Having operated, with others, several checks, I can state there is nothing like a Speedwatch scheme to bring division. Some drivers hate us (a tiny few), far more love us and stop to give encouragement (maybe they are fed up with the aggressive tailgating that law-abiding drivers too often encounter in posted speed limit areas). Residents offer cups of tea or coffee, others complain bitterly that we have not visited their village and ask us to come soon.

Clearly there is a problem and, unless we pay more tax, the police are not going to finance ongoing speed checks. Rural areas, and particularly Cambridgeshire, do not do well per capita, so the problem of finance must be aimed at national government and not locally.

The idea of communities working together and responsibly is the only answer that will be satisfactory to all, and can be made to work. This is the ultimate goal of Speedwatch and, if drivers just slow down in posted speed limit areas, the problem will be solved. After all, they had to drive according to speed limits for their driving test.

To answer some of many questions that are being asked, a web site has been set up:

www.speed-watch.org

Our slogan is "Promoting safer driving in communities through education, rather than prosecution".

KEITH SISMAN

Helen's Close

Upwood

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