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Speed spotters cmpaign going well

PUBLISHED: 13:02 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 12:43 20 May 2010

Speeder-spotting volunteers are helping to make roads safer across Norfolk.

The latest of the county's nine community speed watch schemes was launched at Bodham yesterday, with 15 volunteers stepping forward to help man patrols.

Speeder-spotting volunteers are helping to make roads safer across Norfolk.

The latest of the county's nine community speed watch schemes was launched at Bodham yesterday, with 15 volunteers stepping forward to help man patrols.

And this month the initiative, which began in the east and north of the county, will begin spreading its wings to other parts, with plans to have 60 teams - the next of which is launched at Salhouse on March 15.

The speed watch teams are civilians trained in the use of radar guns, who report persistent speeders. Information about problem areas is logged by police so they can target officers to the troublespots, while persistent offenders are sent two warning letters before police are drafted in to try to catch them.

Sgt Andy Hood from the Acle-based road policing unit said the teams were making a difference.

“By being on a road slowing traffic they are making communities safer,” he added.

There had been major benefits at Thorpe End near Norwich, where it

had stopped “rush hour madness”, and at

Brundall, where there

was a problem rat run.

The number of people who volunteered at Bodham showed there was a real concern about speeding. The village between Cromer and Holt on the A148 successfully campaigned a few years ago for a 30mph limit and flashing signs, but there were still problems with people failing to slow down enough, said Sgt Hood.

The growth of community speed watch teams did not show the road policing team was failing, he stressed.

There was a finite number of road policing resources, so the teams were helping target them and proving an effective detrerrant.

“We have had positive feedback from every team,” he added. The cost of the first 20 radar guns had been covered by commercial sponsorship from Structure-flex of Melton Constable.

At Hunworth, where a scheme has been running since last month, volunteers have seen a marked reduction in traffic speeds at a dangerous junction near the village green.

Parish councillor and speed watch volunteer Liz Waites said: “It does have an amazing effect on drivers while we are here and, apart from one negative remark, we have had a completely positive response.”

There are also schemes at Hopton, Coltishall (with Buxton and Horstead), Acle, Brundall, Thorpe End (and the Plumsteads), Frettenham (and Hainford), Bodham, and the Poppyland parishes in and around Cromer.

Anyone concerned about speeding in their village and interested in volunteering for a future scheme should raise it

with their parish council

in the first instance, said Sgt Hood.

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