At the time of composing this article it would be all too easy to look back at the previous 12 months, and to say ‘job done’. Perhaps even more so since your Community Speed Watch team recently had its efforts recognised by way of a roadside presentation by the Police & Crime Commissioner Martin Underhill, this in the form of a Certificate of Commendation for completing 100 roadside CSW operations in the year Jan – Dec 2018. From this presentation an article and photographs appeared in the Bournemouth Echo, and following that Radio Solent invited one of your BCSW team to contribute to a brief Q &A session live on air. All of this from a Speed Watch team who in 2015/16 were carrying out just twelve CSW operations a year? Undeniably a very good result, but there is still much for us to do to promote and ensure that Broadstone is indeed a ‘safer place to live’.
Mindful that we have more to do, and as a top performer in the Dorset CSW league table, we do need your help to achieve our principal aim. This to continue to reduce the numbers of speeding vehicles on our roads to the lowest possible number, and to do this we do need additional volunteers from our community, and even elsewhere, to help us to build on this outstanding effort thus far. So if you would like to know more about Community Speed Watch, and what we do, go to our website at www.broadstonecsw.uk , www.dorsetroadsafe.org.uk , e-mail us at email@example.com or just come and speak with us when we are operating at the roadside.
For anyone who may think that they might like to see what we do before making any commitment, we run ‘taster’ sessions.
Finally, to all those road users who stop to talk to us, wave and/or give us a ‘thumbs-up’ – Thank you!
May is an important month for your Broadstone Community Speed Watch team, if only in that this month we will be celebrating our second anniversary since we established ourselves as an independent Watch in January 2017.
A lot has happened since we carried out the first Broadstone Community Speed under new arrangements on Monday the 8th May 2017. Below are some facts and figures that may be of interest;-
April, the month of showers! Or at least that is how it used to be when I was younger. Nowadays it seems that we can still have a threat of snow in the forecast? Thankfully we have now moved our clocks forward into British Summer Time and the promise of lighter mornings and evenings, and this means that your Community Speed Watch team can begin to extend their operating hours and coverage on all of the Broadstone roads authorized and approved by Dorset Police for Community Speed Watch operations.
The winter months have been challenging for all of our road users and ourselves. Despite this, and not unusually, we have witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of road user behaviour over this period. Excess speed, tailgating, faulty headlights, cyclists without any lights and some without any head protection, pedestrians oblivious of what is going on around them, to name but a few.
March, the month when winter might start to release its grip on our weather but more often than not this is too early. That said March is the month in which we put our clocks forward towards summer so the hours of daylight are being extended, so good news for regular road users.
March is also the month when your Community Speed Watch Team will be less restricted by the operating limits imposed by adverse winter conditions and limited hours of daylight, so expect to see your CSW team carrying out more operations at the roadside.
SPEEDING drivers who are dismissive of Speedwatch volunteers might like to pay a little more attention in future.
Dorset Police will be rolling out a dedicated officer who will move around to work with the county’s 600 Speedwatch helpers. That means it’s likely to result in more drivers getting a fine rather than a warning letter.
Chief Constable James Vaughan revealed the move when talking about his plans for the year ahead at Thursday’s county police and crime panel.
He said volunteers put in some 16,000 hours each year.
“There is a growing sense that they are a toothless tiger – but we will put some sting into that tail,” he said.
“We want to get a full time professional operator so people won’t know whether they will be getting a letter or a fine.”
Since 2012, the number of people killed and seriously injured on Dorset’s roads has shown a sustained fall.
In 2012 it was 355, in 2018 with figures to be confirmed, it was 239, a reduction of slightly more than 32.
Slight or minor collisions have showed a similar reduction of a little over 30%.
An average of 378 people were killed or seriously injured on Dorset’s roads in the preceding 13 years (1999 – 2011), again showing a steady reduction to the present.
Chief Constable James Vaughan, Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill and Head of Roads Policing Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk have put the positive change down to active and intelligence led roads policing, investment of funds and resources and close partnership working.