Following a successful two-month trial last year, our local community speedwatch team are now carrying out roadside speedwatch checks on a regular basis. This has been possible due to support from Dorset Police and a growing number of enthusiastic volunteers keen to actively promote road safety in our town and encourage motorists to observe speed limits.
There are now over 90 speedwatch groups operating in towns and villages across Dorset. All with the same aim to encourage motorists to respect and observe speed limits.
Ron Cross, our CSW Co-ordinator, said our roadside sessions are predominantly in Church Road and Victoria Road, with other sessions having taken place in Glenmoor Road (close to Parley First School); Ameysford Road; Dudsbury Ave; and Woodside Road. We have also recently received further support from Dorset Police enabling us to introduce checks in Wimborne Road East.
He added we receive a lot of requests from passing pedestrians and motorists asking us to patrol their roads and we would like to help, particularly on residential roads used as shortcuts by speeding motorists. However, to do this we need their help and many residents are very grateful, welcoming our presence, but unfortunately most of them are unable to spare a few hours a month to help.
He explained in the last four months we have been seen by over 13,000 motorists, with many motorists slowing when they saw their speed was being monitored. Many motorists don’t realise they are exceeding the speed limits, so we hope our presence will encourage all motorists to regularly check their speed and observe the speed limits. Generally, we have found it is just a small minority of motorists that unfortunately don’t care. Where these motorists are observed exceeding the speed limit threshold their details are recorded and referred to Dorset Police for further action. Unfortunately, this also means some motorists that accidentally fail to observe their speed will also receive a speed advice letter. In such cases we hope it will just provide a useful reminder that everyone should regularly check their speed.
Ron added it was great to meet so many residents at the Ferndown Fete and to gain their views. From a survey carried out at the fete it was particularly pleasing to hear that 80% of local residents have seen us on the roadside; and an overwhelming 96% supported having a community speedwatch service. Feedback we gathered on the worse roads will also be very useful as we gain more volunteers. Interestingly, several cat lovers also praised our efforts!
Ron said we are also now beginning to do joint roadside sessions with the ‘Dorset Police No Excuse team’ who are providing us with enforcement officers. This means that speeding motorists that they record exceeding the speed limits are automatically receiving fixed penalty notices, attending driver awareness courses and unfortunately some are also receiving points on their licences.
As an aside, we are also working with Dorset Police who are testing new technology to help identify motorists that deliberately jump red traffic lights. This extremely selfish and dangerous driving is often brought to our attention by residents, where there appears to be an increasing number of motorists failing to stop at red lights on pedestrian crossings and at road junctions. The worse appears to be on the Church Road junctions with Wimborne Road East and Ringwood Road. Please could you help by reminding others, especially any children, to always wait at traffic lights until any passing traffic stops!
In Ferndown South the team currently only monitor Glenmoor Road and Dudsbury Ave, as most of its volunteers live in Ferndown North or Central region, so if you can spare two hours a month and are interested in becoming a volunteer, please phone Ron on 07592 790199.