A COMMUNITY-driven scheme to crack down on speeding motorists is set to be rolled out across the region after a successful trial in a village near Worcester.
The Safer Roads Partnership, which is part of West Mercia Police, has launched the Community Speed Watch scheme to give residents the opportunity to play an active role in improving the safety of their community.
A pilot was set up in Crowle in May and has seen trained volunteers use hand-held devices, which monitor the speeds of the vehicles. If the motorists exceed the limit, a letter is then sent to the registered keeper by the police with the aim of encouraging them to reduce their speed when driving in the future.
Ian Connolly, Community Speed Watch coordinator, said they have been pleased by how well the scheme has gone and are ready to launch it to other areas in the West Mercia region.
“The aim of the scheme is not to catch as many speeding drivers as possible, but to encourage them to drive within the speed limit,” he said.
“Feedback from group members suggests that motorists visibly slow down when they see the volunteers by the roadside in high-visibility jackets, which is a positive effect in itself.
“We hope these results are replicated in future schemes across West Mercia and we continue to see a positive change in driver behaviour and compliance with the speed limit.”
It has also been backed by Barrie Sheldon, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia, after it was revealed more than 300 people had been either killed or seriously injured following a road accident in the region last year.
“When you say 327 people, you have to think about the impact on families in particular, loved ones and on the public purse as well, particularly on health services,” he said.
“It has a huge impact all around, so the lower figure we can get the better.
“Local people are fed up of drivers speeding throughout their village and as Crowle has shown residents love getting involved and being given that empowerment to actually assist the police and others in resolving the speeding problem.”
He told The Observer he expected about 30 schemes to be launched in areas across Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Shropshire by Christmas.