1,200 speeding drivers caught in a month by Speedwatch volunteers

A TEAM of volunteers has clocked almost 1,300 drivers speeding in the space of a month.

It was almost 500 more than they recorded in June.

The group, which spent 76 hours monitoring traffic, flagged up almost 100 drivers with the police because they had exceeded the limit by at least 150 per cent.

The fastest vehicle reported by the Highworth team was a motorcycle at 65mph westbound in the 30mph zone on Cricklade Road.

It’s thought the bulk of speeders are people driving through on main routes rather than people living locally.

One of the Speedwatch volunteers, who have suffered abuse because of the work they do, said: “As a paramedic, I’ve seen the carnage of excess speed. The greater the impact speed, the greater the chance of death.

Bob, who didn’t want to give his full name, explained:“A pedestrian hit at 30mph has a one in five chance of being killed. This rises significantly to a one in three chance if they are hit at 35mph.

“Even small increases in speed can lead to an increase in impact severity. All we ask is drivers slow down in built up areas.”

Paul told the Adver: Unfortunately the number of excessive speeders remains high on our two main arterial routes through Highworth: Cricklade Road and the A361 Swindon Road at Redlands.

“This indicates that the issue is more one of through traffic rather than local residents. Reduced speed and increased safety within the town are our aims as our roads are now subject to a very high volume of vehicles.”

Team leader Simon said July’s figure of 1,299 speeding vehicles being so much higher than June’s 802 could be down to several reasons.

“We ran more sessions in July which will explain some of it, and we only started sessions on five of the roads halfway through June.

“We run sessions at different times of day to be seen by as many motorists as possible and to discover when we get the highest percentage of those speeding.

“Once we’ve discovered that, we then will focus on those high-percentage times, which would go towards explaining the increase as well.

“Drivers warn each other of our presence, so the figures are higher when we do not have a team out.

“We try not to be predictable so drivers never know when or where they might see one of our teams. Hopefully that encourages them not to speed on any of Highworth’s roads.

“Unfortunately it is always the small percentage of drivers that have the biggest impact on the safety of other road users.

“I am so proud of our team in Highworth. It’s great to see so many people of all ages give up their time to reduce speeding in our town.”

Another volunteer, Jo, said: “Although it’s disappointing that a number of drivers still choose to speed, we know that the group is making people think more carefully about how they drive through Highworth. It’s great to hear from so many residents in Highworth that this is making a difference.”

Overall, 4.53 per cent of vehicles monitored by speed watch volunteers in Highworth in July were speeding, and seven per cent of those speeding drivers were going 45 in a 30 or 60 in a 40mph zone.

The team monitors Cricklade Road, Eastrop, Redlands, Roundhills Mead, Shrivenham Road and St Michael’s Avenue.

Anyone interested in joining the team to help run sessions and make the town’s roads safer for all road users are asked to email highworthcsw@gmail.com.

Team members must be over the age of 18, able to stand for the duration of a session and be able to read the licence plate of a passing vehicle.

Community Speed Watch is a scheme run by Wiltshire Police. All volunteers are trained by traffic management policing officers and comply with a code of practice.

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