Community Speed Watch

A perennial problem everywhere is speeding. In Prittlewell some areas suffer worse than others. The residents of Rochester Drive came together to try and get the speed limit reduced in their road and I have had many complaints about the speed of traffic along Carlton Avenue. Last year I raised the matter at the Council and conducted my own research into 20 mph speed limits.

I recently obtained data from the Council that showed the last time they surveyed Carlton Avenue that astonishingly 60.7% of vehicles were exceeding the speed limit with the average speed being 31 MPH. In Rochester Drive the figures were that 30.3% exceeding the speed limit, with the average speed of vehicles being 27 MPH.

The difference between someone being in collision with a car travelling at 30 mph and 40 mph is huge. At 30 MPH, 80% of casualties will survive. At 40 MPH, 80% will be killed.

Me, on The Fairway yesterday with a radar speed gun
Me, on The Fairway yesterday with a radar speed gun.

Yesterday I took part in my first Community Speed Watch (CSW) where we monitored vehicle speeds along The Fairway, Leigh. I have been trying since October last year to get this up and running with other volunteers, so I am extremely pleased that an enthusiastic and dedicated team are now operational.

I hope to get approval to monitor speeds in Carlton Avenue in the coming months. Motorists caught speeding (and there are far, far fewer of them when a CSW is in operation) are sent warning letters. The main function of a CSW group is to make drivers check their speed and hopefully think twice when driving along that stretch of road next time.

With the high cost of speed camera installation and maintenance, ultimately it is only by educating drivers and changing their behaviour that speeding will be effectively combated. We’ve seen this happen with drink-driving over the past 30-40 years – a practice that was once hardly seen as an offence has become totally socially unacceptable through hard-hitting advertising campaigns.

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