Council supporting search for speed watch volunteers

Published Monday, 21st August 2017

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Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is encouraging local residents to help keep local roads safe by becoming a Community Speed Watch volunteer with the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP).

The Council is working collaboratively with SERP to promote the group and recruit more members in Southend-on-Sea.

Community Speed Watch wants individuals who can actively get involved with road safety in their local areas. Volunteers will be asked to give up a few hours every two to four weeks to assist in making Essex roads safer.

Fully trained volunteers will visit an approved site with a calibrated speed detection device to note the speeds of passing vehicles, recording the details of any vehicles travelling over the speed limit.

Training includes learning about the aims of Community Speed Watch, the causes of fatal crashes, health and safety, communication skills, as well as training on how to use the equipment.

Although volunteers do not have powers to sanction a prosecution, they will pass the vehicle details on to Essex Police, who then contact the registered keeper requesting more consideration for the roads, informing them of the potential risks they are causing by speeding. Repeat offenders will be dealt with in a more severe manner.

With 32 approved sites in the borough, there are plenty of areas that need to be covered by volunteers.

Cllr Tony Cox, Executive Councillor for Transport, Waste and Regulatory Services, said: “Road safety is a matter of the utmost importance. In 2016, 93 people were killed or seriously injured in traffic collisions in Southend-on-Sea alone, and this is a continuing issue on our roads.

“Community Speed Watch has proven that it is a successful group for catching people who think it is okay to speed. In 2016, 13,114 drivers were detected across Essex and given a formal warning thanks to the Community Speed Watch volunteers.

“We urge anyone with some free time to get involved in this very important group.”

Daniel Parsons, Roads Policing Inspector for Essex Police, said: “Community Speed Watch volunteers make a valuable contribution to the reduction of casualties on our roads in Essex.

“By reporting vehicles travelling at excessive speeds, we can then contact the registered owner informing them that they, or other drivers of their vehicle, need to be more aware of speed limits.

“Those drivers that are reported to us on several occasions may receive a visit from one of our Roads Policing Officers for a face-to-face conversation about their driving habits.

“Community Speed Watch volunteers also provide a visible presence in the community reminding drivers of their responsibility to drive within the speed limit.

“I am pleased our partners and community groups in Southend-on-Sea are taking a proactive approach to this type of community and road safety scheme.”

Information about how to join a Community Speed Watch group in Southend-on-Sea and the date of the next training course can be obtained by emailing the Community Speed Watch team or calling 01376 576230.