Community Speedwatch

The Community Speedwatch campaign to curb speeding through the village has been agreed and the first appearance of the system is expected early in the New Year.

Eight villagers have volunteered to help operate the system.  Five of them, with the parish council, attended a recent meeting with the police.  The system was explained by police community support officer Marie Deacon, from the Wallingford Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Community Speedwatch is not enforcement but a programme designed to measure the scale of the problem, raise awareness of speeding within communities and educate drivers.

This is achieved by undertaking high-visibility roadside operations, using trained volunteers, to display vehicle speed with a view to improving driver behaviour.  The group has been provided with a tripod-mounted device which measures speed of approaching traffic and displays it on a large digital screen, visible to both drivers and operators.

It is a passive operation; volunteers are not permitted to make signals to drivers or interfere with traffic in any way.  Details of speeding vehicles can be noted down and passed on to the police.  As the equipment is not as precisely calibrated as the enforcement devices used by the police, a larger margin of error is allowed for.

The police will send advisory letters to registered owners of reported vehicles to advise them of the speed at which their vehicle was travelling and that the speed was in excess of the speed limit.

The parish council has to provide high-visibility jackets and warning signs.  The next step is to select appropriate sites in the village for setting up the equipment and have the sites approved by the police.  Operations are restricted to daylight and dry weather.  Personal accident insurance cover is provided by the police.

If you would like to join the team of volunteers contact the parish council at longwittpc@hotmail.co.uk.

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