Successful return of Northamptonshire’s Community Speed Watch programme
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The return of the county’s Community Speed Watch programme has been hailed a success by Northamptonshire Police thanks to the support of residents who volunteered for the scheme.
The programme, which was suspended in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was reinstated in March, following the full lifting of all restrictions earlier this year, with 50 groups signing up to take part.
Residents, who volunteer their spare time in all weathers, receive full training from the Safer Roads Team to use speed detection devices to monitor vehicles travelling through towns and villages on roads with limits of 20, 30 and 40mph.
Between March and October, the volunteers gave up a total of 438 hours to work alongside the Force’s safer Roads team to improve road safety by reducing speeding in their towns and villages.
This resulted in 1,836 warning letters being sent to the registered owners of vehicles caught exceeding the limit, which aims to increase awareness of the consequences of speeding and encourage drivers to reduce their speed.
The vehicle’s details are then held on record for 12 months to identify any repeat offenders, and anyone caught exceeding the speed limits more than twice can expect a visit from the police as well as targeted enforcement.
Safer Roads Enforcement Supervisor of Northamptonshire Police, Matthew Mumford, said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic we were unable to run the Community Speed Watch groups but the response from residents wishing to join this year’s programme has been phenomenal.
“With so many residents volunteering to join one of the 50 groups across the county, speeding continues to be one of the main concerns for Northamptonshire residents, whether they live in one of the county’s larger urban areas or smaller rural communities.
“Our volunteers are passionate about improving road safety within their local communities, and their dedication and commitment makes a real difference, providing invaluable data and educating drivers on the importance of sticking to the speed limit.
“We are very grateful for all their efforts throughout this year, and we would like to thank them for the significant level of commitment they have made to both their communities and the Force through their volunteering.”
Excessive speed - along with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, not wearing a seat belt, and careless driving – is one of the Fatal Five motoring offences which are most linked to death or serious injury.
Tragically in 2021, after being involved in a road collision, 29 people never returned home safely to their loved ones, and 280 required urgent medical assistance for serious and life-changing injuries.