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North Yorkshire Police launches Community Speed Watch pilot

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North Yorkshire Police is launching a new Community Speed Watch pilot programme - the first of its type to run in the county - as part of a broad programme of activities to address road safety issues.

The scheme has been championed by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, on the back of research that she commissioned last year.  The research showed that four out of five residents were concerned about road safety in North Yorkshire, and that 72 percent of people felt that more should be done to improve road safety through enforcement or education.

The Community Speed Watch pilot programme will run at up to 50 sites across York, Harrogate, Selby and Harrogate where local people have already registered a concern about speeding vehicles.  The sites are mainly residential areas with 30 and 40 mph speed limits.

Over the next six months, police volunteers, together with members of the community, will visit the sites with a hand-held radar gun and/or an LED speed sign.  They will record vehicle speeds and anyone caught speeding will receive a letter from North Yorkshire Police informing them of their offence and the need to address driving behaviour.

The main purpose of Community Speed Watch is to draw drivers’ attention to speed limits in areas where communities say it is affecting their quality of life, and to educate them about the effects that anti-social road use can have on local people.  However, North Yorkshire Police will also be keeping a close watch on the recorded data, and may take enforcement measures if a persistent or extreme offender is identified.

Commenting on the Community Speed Watch pilot, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, said: “Speeding is a real concern to many people, so I am delighted that this scheme is being piloted.  Ever since coming into office, the public have told me they feel frustrated and let down when told their speeding concerns are sufficiently serious to warrant action.  Moreover, last year there were around 70 accidents as a result of speeding in 30 and 40 mph zones alone.  This new scheme is therefore a significant development, particularly for people living in villages and other rural locations.  Different types of Community Speed Watch schemes already operate successfully in other areas of the country, so I am looking forward to assessing whether this scheme can help us to tackle driver behaviour here in North Yorkshire.”

Tim Madgwick, Deputy Chief Constable at North Yorkshire Police, and the Force’s lead on road safety, explained: “Community Speed Watch is an important new tool in our ongoing campaign to address road safety issues.  From our work with communities, we know that there are different levels of severity when it comes to speeding on local roads.  What has been needed for some time now, is a practical tool to help people in areas that are not the most severe accident hot-spots, but where speeding is still a significant problem that affects the quality of life for residents. Community Speed Watch fills that gap, and we very much hope that communities who are concerned about excess speed in their area will take an active interest in this pilot scheme.”

Last modified: May 9, 2018