Our community speedwatch team became inactive at the beginning of March to adhere with the government’s ‘stay at home’ guidelines and to protect the health of its volunteers.
Ron Cross, our CSW Co-ordinator, said the ‘lockdown’ resulted in a considerable reduction invehicles on our roads, with our commute routes and residential roads much quieter than normal. Unfortunately, this also resulted in more inconsiderate motorists seeing our quiet roads as an opportunity to drive at excessive speeds. This was brought to our attention by numerous concerned residents and noted by Dorset Police who increased their presence on our roads, targeted speeding motorists and reported numerous speeding offences across Dorset in local news reports and online posts.
He added our volunteers are extremely keen to resume our roadside patrols and we hope to do so around mid-July, once Dorset Police have reinstated our authority. At this point we hope our presence on the roadside will help remind everyone to regularly checks their speed, including motorists that don’t always realise they are exceeding the speed limit.
In the meantime, Dorset Police has requested that if you have particular concerns about speeding and dangerous driving in your neighbourhoods, you can report this in-confidence on the Dorset Road Safe website www.dorsetroadsafe.org.uk or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They also welcoming dash cam footage and digital photographic evidence of dangerous driving incidents, including instances of excessive speeding. For more information, please refer to www.dorset.police.uk/opsnap.
Ron added Dorset Road Safe has recently announced that they are in the process of upgrading all fixed safety cameras from the old ‘wet film’ technology, which is becoming obsolete, to digital cameras. This is likely to mean that the safety cameras in Ringwood Road, Wimborne Road East and Golf Links Road will be replaced. Safety cameras are located in key speeding hot spots identified as areas of concern by local communities. In recent local press articles Dorset Police has reaffirmed that the presence of fixed safety cameras and speed indicator devices can have an important role in encouraging motorists to check their speed and drive at appropriate speeds.
Government research published recently shows that one in three deaths on the road are speed related. This is backed by Dorset Police that has said that speeding is one of the five most dangerous motorist behaviours. They have also recently published that in 2018/2019 over 22,700 motorists in Dorset were “nabbed” for speeding offences. More recent figures available show that last year community speedwatch groups across Dorset reported over 10,300 speeding motorists to Dorset Police. These motorists received an Advice Letter, and this included 730 motorists reported on roads in the Ferndown area.
We are grateful to our community speedwatch volunteers for helping us all to adhere to our local speed limits and we hope that they will be back on the roadside soon.