Community Speed Watch volunteers aim to reduce speeding in Essex
Volunteers carried out a total of 1343 Community Speed Watch sessions across Essex last year.
More than 500 volunteers working across 90 registered Community Speed Watch groups gave up their spare time to work alongside the Safer Essex Roads Partnership to help reduce speeding.
Last year, 4108 people were killed or injured on the county’s roads and speed was a major contributory factor.
Community Speed Watch is a national initiative that sees fully trained members of the public use speed detection devices to monitor vehicles travelling on roads with limits of 20, 30 and 40 miles per hour.
If a speed offence is detected, a letter is sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle with the aim of educating them to reduce their speed and stick to speed limits. Repeat offenders or those who are well over the speed limit are highlighted to Essex Police’s Casualty Reduction Team and could face prosecution.
Last year 15,290 letters were sent to Essex residents, 125 new volunteers were trained and 133 new sites were approved as locations for Community Speed Watch sessions.
In November 2016, Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) began jointly managing the scheme. The arrangement is just one of the ways emergency services are working together to provide the best service to the people of Essex.
Chief Supt Carl O’Malley, Programme Lead for collaboration between Essex Police and ECFRS, said: “This a great practical example of day to day collaboration between emergency services. Essex Police had a number of volunteers providing speed watch coverage across the county and ECFRS were able to manage the administration of these committed and dedicated members of the public in order to achieve a more effective and efficient way of delivering road safety.”
Community Speed Watch is always on the lookout for volunteers.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, has been a Community Speed Watch Volunteer in Brentwood for six years. He said: “I am passionate about improving safety on our roads. Volunteering for Community Speed Watch is a great way of making a real difference in your own communities. The information we can pick up and give to the police to deter people from bad driving really does help.
“Bad driving – speeding, using a mobile phone, drink and drug driving – kills people and wrecks families and lives. If you want to try and help stop that from happening in your community, join Community Speed Watch.”
Andrea MacAlister, Volunteer Manager at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Community Speed Watch is a great way for the local community to support the countywide effort to make Essex Roads Safer.
“Speeding not only increases the risk of serious injury and fatalities on our roads but is one of the most common concerns in communities.”
“Our Community Speed Watch volunteers do a fantastic job raising awareness of the issue and educating drivers; we are very grateful for their efforts. It is only right that we celebrate their successes during National Volunteers’ Week.”