Many of you continue to raise the problem of persistent speeding in your communities. Wherever I go, it features regularly and is an issue of great concern. So what am I doing about it?
From the moment I was elected, I have been working hard to create a new approach to dealing with speeding. Too often in the past, communities seeking action are given the ‘run around’ when approaching the authorities, and nothing ever happens quickly. Campaigners and activists seeking change often say it is extremely difficult to get controversial speed limits reduced. Traffic calming measures always seem to be unaffordable or take an age to implement. But things are starting to change.
Last December, I re-established our Road Safety Partnership, alongside the County Council. Our flagship work to date is our joint road safety fund to tackle persistent speeding. This fund includes a wide range of potential solutions, including the latest high tech community speed watch cameras. These cameras can be fixed to lampposts on the side of the road, to take pictures of offending vehicles. Details of offenders are then passed to the police leading to a carefully worded warning letter from the Constabulary. Subsequent offences get a differently worded letter, designed to achieve behavioural change in the driver.
In an ideal world, there would hardly be a need for enforcement
Up to three different letters can be issued. If that measured approach fails, the police send their enforcement teams to catch the offender as the cameras indicate they often speed at the same time and place. A fine will usually do the trick, but if that fails, other options are available, including home visits by the police, or even seizing the offending vehicle.
Our Community Speed Watch Fund has led to hundreds of interventions so far, and new applications will be welcomed from 10 October. You can apply here: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/your-community/the-community-speedwatch-fund/
Although my first preference is to achieve behavioural change in speeding drivers – as most of us make mistakes from time to time – we all know that approach will not work for everyone. In an ideal world, there would hardly be a need for enforcement. However, it is obvious from the high number of vehicles travelling at excessive speed across the county, such a world does not exist. Enforcement is, therefore, an important and necessary measure for speed management. So I anticipate that the Constabulary enforcement workload will increase, as more cameras are deployed to protect our communities.