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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Happy New Year to one and all from Broadstone Community Speed Watch!
January is a month when we reflect on times past, seek new adventures and/or challenges, struggle to stick to New Year’s resolutions, avoid the bathroom scales etc, but the New Year also brings new opportunities. This is most definitely the case with Community Speed Watch.
In 2018, and for the second year in succession, BCSW completed more than 100 CSW operations, monitoring over 30,000 vehicle movements across our local roads. This is no mean feat when you consider that for much of the year we only drew from a pool of 10 volunteers. To continue to operate like this and unless we recruit new volunteers, we will risk losing the existing goodwill that enables us to operate.
Your Broadstone Community Speed Watch team of volunteers would like to wish everyone residing in Broadstone a truly happy New Year, and may 2019 be your safest to date.
2019 may be a new year, yet many of the challenges we faced on a daily basis in 2018 will not have changed. More vehicles, motorcycles, cyclists and pedestrians competing for the same space. Patience and respect for each other will be ever more important.
Winter conditions will, as you might expect, challenge road users for some months to come so it will be ever important that you do whatever is necessary to ensure that, whatever the form of transport you use to move around in, both the transport and you are fit for purpose. In particular, and in an age where today’s vehicles tend not to be garaged overnight, there is the need to ensure that vehicle windscreens and windows are completely cleared of ice/frost/mist before setting off on your journey. Allow extra time for scraping off the ice etc, and allow extra time for your journey.
Wet and slippery road surfaces present their own challenges, and BCSW regularly observe and record vehicles speeding in just about all conditions. But it is often the case that, in addition to speeding, drivers are also observed tailgating the vehicle in front of them. Speeding and tailgating are equally inappropriate and dangerous but when combined are, especially in hazardous road conditions, potentially lethal. So please do observe the speed limits, and do leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Finally, some more questions;-
What distance do you cover in 1 second, in a vehicle travelling at 30 mph?
What does a solid amber light mean at a set of traffic lights?
At what age do you have to renew your driving licence?
Broadstone Community Speed Watch is celebrating its second Christmas since it was relaunched in May 2017 and we would like to wish all Broadstone residents, whether supporters or not, a very Merry Christmas.
The last 12 months has seen us build on the achievements of the previous year, and Dorset Police tell us that our efforts are having a beneficial effect in terms of reduced numbers of drivers speeding on our local roads. Whilst much of this may be down to the regular operations run by your BCSW team, credit must also go to those responsible members of the driving public who are making changes to their driving behaviour. So, a sincere thank you to all those drivers who have contributed to this encouraging result.
To residents who have come to talk with us at the roadside, we would say a heartfelt ‘thank you’. We will always be happy to listen to your questions and concerns, and to do what we can to help.
To those drivers who wave, smile, give us the ‘thumbs up’ – thank you. You are our motivation.
To those who do not agree with what we do, please engage with us. We will always be happy to listen to your concerns too.
Now, in some households, there may be periods of time on Christmas day when folk relax to recover from the excitement, and some indulge in a quiz. So here are some questions to test the drivers in your family/friends –
On what type of roads do most collisions occur?
What is the cause of 98% of collisions?
What is the minimum recommended following distance in a motor vehicle, in good conditions?
How do you know when the speed limit is 30 mph?
Using a mobile phone whilst driving increases your chance of having a collision by how many times.
Answers to the above, and more, may be found on www.dorsetroadsafe.org.uk. – section 29.
Remember it is better to arrive late, than to be late!