- A new ‘ground-breaking’ front in the battle against speeding motorists
- Gloucestershire is the first in the country to integrate sophisticated, low-cost community speedwatch cameras around local hotspots
- Called Community Speedwatch+, it will enable communities to identify persistent speeders
- Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson said, “This isn’t about targeting motorists, it’s about making our roads safer”.
It has been welcomed by communities across the county as a new, ‘ground-breaking’ front in the battle against speeding motorists.
Gloucestershire is the first in the country to integrate sophisticated low-cost cameras around local ‘hotspots’ where they will be able to capture and identify images of persistent speeders.
It is hoped the system called ‘Community Speedwatch+’, which can operate around the clock 24/7, will reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by motorists who drive too fast.
Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson said, “Our new approach to Community Speedwatch+ builds on the strong foundations established over many years by local resident volunteers.
“This isn’t about targeting motorists. It’s the persistent speeders we are after and making our roads safer.
“Offering communities the use of new, innovative technology will enhance their chances of changing the way some motorists drive and getting them to slow down.
That is why we are working with the county council to try and make the cameras more accessible”.
It is a huge opportunity to make a difference and save lives
Community Speedwatch+ is primarily an education-based scheme to help local residents reduce speeding traffic through their neighbourhood. Offenders who are caught on camera will be alerted and warned by letter, but only if they fail to break the habit and continue to break the law will they be targeted for enforcement.
As part of this new approach, the process for installing the new cameras has also been simplified to make it easier for communities to put them where they will be most effective. The first has just been installed in Quenington in the Cotswolds, paid for by the joint GCC/OPCC Community Speedwatch fund.
Gloucestershire Constabulary’s Director of Specialist Operations, Supt Paul Keasey said, “This is a revolutionary new approach to Community Speedwatch in the UK. We can’t find anyone else in the country that has done this, it’s genuinely innovative.
“Community Speedwatch+ empowers communities to take action on problem speeding in their local area and has been a key part of the PCC’s approach to road safety and citizens in policing.
“It is a huge opportunity to make a difference and save lives”.
We really don’t want to see people fined, if we can re-educate them instead
Representatives from all of the county’s six districts and many of its villages and parishes listened enthusiastically as the latest drive to make their roads safer was explained during a recent online meeting.
Charles Pedrick, founder of the Gloucestershire ANPR road safety group, said “Many of us involved in road safety, have seen first-hand how road traffic collisions destroy families. So this new initiative, led by the PCC Chris Nelson, the Director of Specialist Operations, Detective Superintendent Paul Keasey and Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), brings together a new working relationship so this serious problem can be addressed more quickly.
“Using ground breaking technology, we can clearly track anyone that is driving in a dangerous manner. Like many other road safety campaigners, we really don’t want to see people fined, if we can stop them endangering the lives of people in our towns and villages, by re-educating them instead”.
It also marks the start of an academic study into the benefits of Community Speed Watch. Data gathered during the next two years will be analysed independently to assess the system’s impact on road safety and how it can be improved.
For information on the fund, go to https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/your-community/the-community-speedwatch-fund/
To commence a New Community Speedwatch group contact: David.Holland@gloucestershire.police.uk
To utilise Community Speedwatch Cameras contact: John.Lynch-Warden@gloucestershire.police.uk
To take part in the academic study contact:- Dr Leanne Savigar-Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org