Three new speed devices obtained for Isle of Wight Community SpeedWatch
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Three new speed indication devices have been obtained for use by Community SpeedWatch Schemes (CSW) on the Isle of Wight.
Isle of Wight Council purchased the devices for local schemes to borrow, and one has already been gratefully received by the CSW co-ordinator in Shorwell.
CSW enables members of the public to volunteer their time alongside Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary to identify vehicles which exceed the speed limit.
Speeding is one of the factors that puts road users most at risk, and we know it is of a particular concern to communities on the Isle of Wight. We understand the majority of motorists stick to the speed limits, however there are a minority of people who break the limit, unfairly impacting the day-to-day lives of local people.
It is also one of the most common contributing factors to serious and fatal road traffic collisions, making it part of the ‘Fatal 4’ alongside drink/drug driving, driving without a seatbelt, and driving whilst using a mobile phone.
The work of CSW volunteers is educational only, but provides crucial support to the police’s ability to identify speeding motorists, develop the broader intelligence picture around the prevalence of the issue and hotspot areas, and therefore compliments the police’s enforcement work.
The valuable information these volunteers obtain feeds into our wider roads policing work more broadly under Operation Mile. Op Mile is our collaborative effort to tackle dangerous driving habits and involves input from Neighbourhoods and Response Policing colleagues, alongside the existing work of our dedicated Roads Policing Unit (RPU) officers, and dual-skilled Roads Policing and Armed Response Vehicle officers (RP/ARV).
Community SpeedWatch can also help to:
Improve the quality of life for local communities
Reduce the speed of vehicles to the speed limit
Increase public awareness of inappropriate speed
Empower local people to take action on local issues in a safe manner, and provide reassurance to the community.
The CSW scheme in Freshwater is already seeing results, with the local co-ordinator commenting that motorists noticeably slow down upon seeing volunteers in their high-visibility jackets.
A total of 16 volunteers have been trained up for Freshwater, and in their first year they ran 116 monitoring sessions on 12 roads, checking the speeds of more than 13,000 vehicles – 6% of those were exceeding the speed limit by at least 10% + 2 (i.e. 35 in a 30 mph zone).
Lewis Campbell, Road Safety Officer for Isle of Wight council, said: “The CSW scheme is a great way for local communities to monitor traffic speeds within their area, complimenting the enforcement activity undertaken by the proactive Roads Policing Unit, and I’m pleased that we can support local groups with our new speed equipment.
“Speeding is simply not worth the risk, and educational approaches like CSW help to share that message. We urge all motorists to drive responsibly, within the set speed limits and to the conditions of the road.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the community champions who currently lead CSW in their local areas.”
Tactical Firearms and Roads Policing Sergeant Neil Corby said: “We fully support the CSW as it offers another resource in our relentless objective of making the Isle of Wight roads a safer place to be for all users.
“It offers a really good balance of educating those drivers who are unaware that they are being unsafe and identifying those who wish to endanger lives, passing this information to my team so we can target them offering further education and prosecution for any offences should they continue to drive in an unsafe manner.
“The feedback from our law abiding communities is excellent, and they often thank us when we point out their mistakes without the need for further action. They have also told us that they love seeing the policing family out there which promotes safer roads further. People also enjoy the chance to get involved themselves, bringing further awareness to all.”
If you are interested in setting up, co-ordinating and leading a CSW scheme in your local area, please email [email protected]
The Coordinator role includes:
Recruiting a team of volunteers – the scheme requires a minimum of 6 volunteers.
Arranging the loan of speed equipment from the IOW council.
Suggesting roads for monitoring activity – please be advised some roads will not be suitable for CSW activity.
Organising the CSW sessions and submitting the collected data to our central team.
We will provide training for all volunteers before any roadside activity takes place.