THERE is now a new force out on the streets on Huntingdonshire, ready to help tackle the problem of speeding motorists. On Friday (January 30) volunteers, armed with flashing speed radar and a speed indication display panel, began an initiative that aims
THERE is now a new force out on the streets on Huntingdonshire, ready to help tackle the problem of speeding motorists.
On Friday (January 30) volunteers, armed with flashing speed radar and a speed indication display panel, began an initiative that aims to get drivers to slow down.
After a successful pilot in Ely, the equipment is now available for volunteers to use in Huntingdonshire and was given a thorough testing in Bury last week.
The scheme is run by volunteers with support from Cambridgeshire police, the Cambridgeshire Road Safety Partnership and Cambridgeshire County Council.
Those caught speeding will get a letter warning them they have exceeded the limit. Those who repeatedly are caught by the volunteers will receive a visit from the police.
The aim is to re-educate drivers about the dangers of speeding, but will give communities an active role to play in making their community safer.
Pc Paul Currie, of the St Ives and district neighbourhood policing team explained: "Speedwatch provides the opportunity for the public to influence and contribute to the education of drivers.
"It is not an enforcement activity, instead the aim is to improve driver behaviour and prevent collisions by encouraging motorists to slow down."
Volunteers are trained to use the free-standing tripod speed detection unit - a piece of kit that can be used day or night in streets with a 30mph speed limit.
Drive past at more than 33mph and the volunteers, wearing high-visibility orange jackets, record the speed, colour and model of the car.
Upwood resident, Keith Sisman, who is leading the Ramsey and district Speedwatch scheme, said: "This campaign is about safety. Speed limits are there for a reason and when it goes wrong people need to be able to stop."
Alan Wilcher, who lives in Ramsey and is also a Speedwatch volunteer, added: "Having been around here for some time I am aware of the problem of traffic speeding through the villages.
"I think Speedwatch is a good way of educating drivers. Instead of being slapped with a fine or penalty points we are giving motorists the chance to mend their ways."
The Speedwatch checks carried out in Upwood Road, Bury, caught motorists travelling in excess of 50mph.
Mr Sisman said: "We clocked some people travelling at 55mph, which really surprised us. We spent an hour at the site and caught a speeding driver every two minutes."
The equipment is being stored at Ramsey police station, but will be available for use in St Ives, Bury, Hilton and Upwood.
And, be warned, more of the devices will be available later this month in St Neots, Fenstanton and Hemingford Grey.
INFORMATION: To become a Speedwatch volunteer call 0845 4564564 and ask to speak to your neighbourhood policing team.
Is Speedwatch a good idea? E-mail your views to email@example.com or write to The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE29 3TB.