Community Speed Watch
Community Speed Watch(CSW) is a scheme which gives local people the power to help reduce traffic speeds and improve the quality of life in their community.
Speeding can be a real problem in villages so, by training as CSW volunteers, local residents have the opportunity to make their roads safer.
Volunteers are provided with special equipment and trained by police officers in the use of handheld speed devices, which record the speed of passing vehicles.
Motorists recorded speeding by volunteers are sent a warning letter by the police. Further action is taken against persistent offenders. Data is collected from all participating villages, so, for example, if someone speeds in Urchfont and then in Rushall, this will count as two occasions.
The main objectives are:
to secure a reduction in vehicle speeds to prevent collisions
to improve quality of life and make our village a safe place to live
to reduce noise pollution
to raise public awareness of inappropriate speed
Changing the attitude of drivers is key to reducing speed. CSW is important in making motorists aware that there's zero tolerance for speeding in our community.
CSW is not about spying or snooping on neighbours. It is about taking positive action, working together to improve the safety and quality of life for everyone in the community.
Urchfont Community Speedwatch was set-up in February 2011, with the support of Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Council, after Urchfont Parish Council highlighted a problem with vehicles speeding along the B3098 through the Village. With many children walking to school (this being encouraged) and having to cross this busy road, the Parish Council needed to try to make this safer .
Volunteers from the community were trained in the use of a camera, as used by the police, and which can register the speed and direction of traffic, up to a straight-line distance of some 2 kilometres.
The first session was held on 14th February 2011, since when, more than 22,500 vehicles have been counted passing through the Village during our sessions, with nearly 2,100 (9.1%) recorded exceeding 35 mph. Of these, 432 were at 40 mph or over, 9 were at 50 mph or over and two were caught driving at more than 60 mph, one at 62mph and one at 66mph! 332 drivers have been recorded more than once, 85 of these three or more times. Anyone recorded 3 or more times is ‘targeted’ by the police, who will issue fixed-penalty notices and ‘points’ to anyone they catch. Under the totting-up process, this could lead to disqualification!
The problem of vehicles speeding through the Village qualifies us for visits by the Roads Policing Unit from time to time, often using unmarked vehicles. The police are also planning to provide more resources for the project, with the likelihood of a greater presence of officers when our sessions are taking place. They have the power to stop speeding vehicles and to issue fixed-penalty fines and points on licences, rather than an offender just receiving a letter through the post.
So keep to the limit and help keep our village a safe place for the whole community.
(Updated July 2013)