Broadstone Community Speed Watch – October 2019

‘Making Broadstone a safer place to live’

“Why don’t you get a life!” the van driver shouted through the driver’s side window of his van, as he drove past the Speed Watch team. Had the driver stopped and had a conversation with the team he might have appreciated that we would indeed prefer not to have to stand by the roadside recording the details of vehicles whose drivers seem to have an unhealthy disregard for speed limits, and the reasons why such speed limits are put in place on our urban and rural roads.

The driver might also understand that in January 2017, this team of volunteers had the choice of ceasing Broadstone Community Speed Watch operations, or to reform and to continue. The team took the decision to continue, and since that time has risen to be the best performing CSW team in the County.

So, the answer to the driver’s question is “yes, we would prefer to do something else” but Community Speed Watch provides us with an opportunity to give back something to the community within which we are privileged to live, and in doing so make Broadstone a safer place to live

Community Speed Watch aims to inform, educate and raise awareness among the Driver community regarding the risks of serious injury and deaths that can arise directly from inappropriate and excessive speed. Community Speed Watch is responding directly to concerns raised by Broadstone residents.

But, I hear someone say, with BCSW carrying out in excess of 100 operations each year, surely speeding is no longer an issue? If only that were true – this year to date we have recorded more than 50 vehicles being driven at speeds in excess of 40 mph, and a motorcyclist travelling at 68 mph! – on roads with a 30 mph speed limit!

So, there is still more to do, and to do this we have an ever present need for more volunteers. If you think you might be interested in joining our team please have a look at the www.broadstonecsw.uk website.

Think, drive safely!

BCSW

Broadstone Community Speed Watch – August/September 2019

‘Making Broadstone a safer place to live’

Speeding is a regular feature in our lives and on our roads, and it is most unlikely that there is any driver or motorcyclist has never intentionally, or unintentionally, exceeded the posted speed limit at some time or other, on any given road.

The question that is difficult to answer is why? Especially when the evidence indicates that excessive speed is a factor in almost one third of all accidents where fatalities and/or serious life changing injuries result.

Without doubt a contributory factor has got to be the sheer volume of traffic, and ever more congested roads, which create a frustration among the travelling public. Another factor has to be the increasing demands on our time to carry out a seemingly increasing number of tasks, whether it be getting to/from work, children to/from school, meetings, shopping, visiting relatives/friends in hospital and much more.

Then there is the human condition wherein some of us cannot resist the urge to speed, some see speed limits as being there ‘for the obedience of fools and the guidance for wise men’, whilst others among us struggle with time management or are just badly organised.

Add to this a road infrastructure that is being more and more challenged in coping with the demands of the ‘travelling’ public. The numbers of road works/road improvement schemes needed to cope with the increasing numbers of vehicles, and which in themselves add to the delays that frustrate so many of us.

But whatever the reasons for speeding such behaviour only makes a bad situation worse. Unnecessary and inappropriate speeding seriously increases the risks of death or serious injury to all road users regardless of whether a driver, motorcyclist, cyclist or pedestrian. Furthermore, speeding increases noise and pollution levels at a time when air pollution is a major concern to all of us.

So, until we can enjoy the electrically powered autonomous vehicles revolution, and join the convoy, can we please be more careful and considerate when driving in and around our precious community.

Drive well, drive safely.

BCSW

Police embed with community speed watch teams after volunteers are abused and threatened

NEXT time you spot a group of community speed watch volunteers in Dorset, look out – they might have a police officer hidden among them.

That’s the message from Dorset Police after some volunteers were verbally abused and confronted by furious motorists.

Speed watch teams cannot issue speeding tickets themselves. Instead, drivers hitting top speeds will receive warning letters through the post.

However, if a driver is caught three times, they can expect to be tracked by Dorset’s traffic officers under Op Dragoon.

According to reports received by police, some drivers speed up when they spot a group of speed watch volunteers. As a result, police will target hotspots for trouble by joining the volunteer teams with their ‘Trucam’.

Motorists caught on the police’s camera can expect points on their licence.

Geoff Daulman, Broadstone’s community speed watch co-ordinator, said volunteers once caught a driver hitting speeds of 68 miles per hour in the Higher Blandford Road, where the limit is 30mph.

“The vast majority of people who talk to us are extremely positive about speed watch,” he said.

“Of course, there will always be a small minority who disapprove and want to tell you why.”

Volunteers visit areas where residents have complained of speeding, as well as locations identified as being trouble spots by police.

Last week, the team could be found in Pinesprings Drive, Broadstone.

Mr Daulman said: “This is a beautifully designed road, and some people will want to use it to try their car out.

“But it’s a busy road that’s used by families and cyclists, as well as other drivers, so that’s a dangerous mix.”

In a 30 mile per hour road, the volunteers will take details of vehicles travelling 36mph and above. Notes are taken by pen and paper or by Dictaphone. The team need to know a range of details, including the registration of the car and its colour and make.

“I don’t know anyone who has been prosecuted as a result of our speed watch, and that’s how it should be. We want to slow drivers down, not see them before the courts,” Mr Daulman said.

Broadstone Community Speed Watch – July 2019

‘Making Broadstone a safer place to live’

Broadstone Community Speed Watch was established in 2013 against a background of increasing numbers of road casualties and deaths in the county, and rising concerns in many communities regarding the risks posed to all residents by speeding vehicles.

In order to establish Community Speed Watch in Broadstone, residents were requested to identify roads in our community where speeding was a serious concern. The roads identified were then risk assessed by Dorset Police, and a set number of roads were confirmed as being suitable for Community Speed Watch operations.

At the same time volunteers, willing to contribute their own time to carry out such operations, were vetted by Dorset Police to confirm their suitability. Those selected were then issued with the necessary equipment, and were trained by Police officers to operate the equipment and mount CSW operations within strict guidelines laid down by Dorset Police.

Broadstone Community Speed Watch operations commenced in late 2014, and continued until January 2017 when it was decided that Broadstone Community Speed Watch should re-form as an independent Watch. In April 2017 Broadstone Community Speed Watch was relaunched, and it began operating independently on the 8th May.

Since that time Broadstone Community Speed Watch has been transformed from a Watch that began by carrying out 12 CSW operations a year to one that, since being re-formed, now carries out in excess of 100 operations per year. From being at the bottom of the league table of 80 + CSW teams to being at the top of the table. Most importantly, the numbers of vehicles detected speeding are down by more than 50%.

This achievement has been hard earned, and we will always need new volunteers to ensure that this effort, and the benefits to our community, are not wasted. Do contact us via our website, Dorset Police RoadSafe website or call 101 to find out more about Community Speed Watch.

Remember – Road safety is a ‘whole ship’ activity in which we all have a part to play.

This month’s word – ‘Tailgating!’

BCSW

Broadstone Community Speed Watch – June 2019

‘Making Broadstone a safer place to live’

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’.

Police & Crime Commissioner Martin Underhill, presents the Broadstone Community Speed Watch team with a Certificate of Commendation for completing 100 roadside CSW operations in the year Jan – Dec 2018

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.ukwww.dorsetroadsafe.org.uk , e-mail us at enquiries@broadstonecsw.uk 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!

Stay safe, and stay well.

BCSW

Broadstone Community Speed Watch – May 2019

‘Making Broadstone a safer place to live’

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;-

BCSW operations: 220
Vehicles monitored: 61000 +
Vehicles recorded as speeding: 1000 +

Continue reading “Broadstone Community Speed Watch – May 2019”

Pavement parking may be kicked to the kerb

Parking on the pavement could be banned across England, based on the upcoming findings of a new inquiry launched by a parliamentary committee.

The parliamentary Transport Select Committee will explore the issue of pavement parking, which can cause safety issues for pedestrians when vehicles block walkways.

As well as forcing pedestrians out into the road, pavement parking can also cause substantial damage to kerbs and pathways, with councils forced to foot the repair bills.

Continue reading “Pavement parking may be kicked to the kerb”

Broadstone Community Speed Watch – April 2019

‘Making Broadstone a safer place to live’

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.

Continue reading “Broadstone Community Speed Watch – April 2019”

Broadstone Community Speed Watch – March 2019

‘Making Broadstone a safer place to live’

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.

Continue reading “Broadstone Community Speed Watch – March 2019”

Speedwatch will soon issue fines rather than letter

Speedwatch volunteers may soon issue fines

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.”


From Bournemouth Echo 14th February 2019