‘Safer roads, safer community, safer Broadstone!’
The hours of daylight are indeed shortening as we move towards Winter, and your Broadstone Community Speed Watch team (BCSW) is having to respond to this by adjusting their operational activities to make the most of the daylight hours that remain. This is important since BCSW are only allowed to operated during daylight hours and in good visibility.
On a separate but related issue we are often approached when operating at the roadside, and asked why we do not mount CSW operations on more of our local roads.
The answer is as follows;-
• When requests are received for Speed Watch monitoring on any road, that road has to be risk assessed and approved for CSW operations by the Police.
• Not all roads in Broadstone meet the strict selection criteria that must be met to ensure the safety of both road users and CSW volunteers.
• BCSW currently have 11 roads in Broadstone which have been assessed and approved as being suitable and safe for Community Speed Watch operations. On each of these roads there are specific locations where the CSW volunteers must stand when operating. BCSW can only operate from such approved locations.
• There is a direct relationship between the number of roads that may be covered by CSW, and the numbers of available and trained volunteers, i.e more roads will require more volunteers to mount more CSW operations!
Regrettably, and almost without exception, very few of those who complain about speeding vehicles on their road want to volunteer to join BCSW to help us to address the concerns raised.
Changing the subject, and with the approaching Winter, this might be a good time to have a good look around your vehicle/motorcycle/bicycle as appropriate
Items to check
• Antifreeze and other fluid levels
• Windscreen wipers
Food for thought –
In 2018, in the UK, 6,238 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured in road collisions.
Speed causes more than 1/3 of all fatal road traffic collisions in high income countries.
Drive safely, sensibly and considerately.
‘Making a difference!’
There used to, and probably still is, a rule of thumb in the insurance industry which related to claims for household goods following an incident such as fire/flood etc. From memory, this rule of thumb was along the lines that 60% of claimants would not artificially inflate their claim for loss or damage, 20% would inflate their claim if they thought they can get away with it, and 20% would always inflate their claim regardless of the risk of being ‘found out’.
Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with Community Speed Watch and it is this, though with slightly altered percentages. From 5 years of roadside observation and recording it seems that roughly 70% of drivers follow the ‘rules of the road’ and do not intentionally drive at excessive speed. 20% of drivers might exceed the speed limit by a relatively small margin if they think they can get away with it, and 10% will drive at excessive speed regardless of the risks to themselves and others.
Add to this the numbers of vehicles on the road on a daily basis, and then factor in the number of drivers speeding, disqualified drivers, drivers driving without a valid license or insurance, drivers with drug and/or alcohol issues, and unsafe vehicles etc and you can estimate the risks today’s road users regularly face.
BCSW have often been asked “Why do we need Community Speed Watch? It is surely the responsibility of the Police to deal with speeding issues?”. The fact is that there will never be enough Police Officers to monitor our roads, and ever more so with ever increasing demands on the Police to deal with a multitude of criminal activities, together with the many other demands for their time. Communities must therefore do whatever they can to support themselves, and the Police, in reducing antisocial activities, among which is speeding which has the potential to be life threatening.
Since April 2021 BCSW has conducted 25 + CSW operations. Help us make Broadstone safer place to live and work.
Make Broadstone a safer place to live!
When writing a monthly article finding ‘new’ things to write about can be quite challenging, and this is ever more the case when most folk’s minds are focused on other things such as health, sport, holidays, Covid and much more. Challenging circumstances do, not unexpectedly, bring out the good and the bad in our complex society. Broadstone Community Speed Watch see this manifested in the form of gestures and shouts from some road users who for some reason see CSW as the ‘enemy’! Yet, at the same time, we have road users stopping at the roadside to thank us for being there to support them as responsible road users and, for the most part, as residents of Broadstone. It is this latter group that encourage BCSW to continue to do what we do, and it is ever important that all road users play a part by acknowledging the speed limits and driving considerately.
In previous articles there has been mention of the introduction of 20 mph speed limits on some of our Broadstone roads, and by the time this article is published it is hoped that the details of such changes will be in the public domain. That said, and it should be understood by those in favour of such changes, that following the introduction of a 20mph speed limit there will normally be up to a six month grace period during which no speed monitoring will be conducted. This grace period is intended to allow road users to get used to the ‘new’ speed limit before any speed monitoring or potential Police enforcement is applied.
On a separate issue BCSW has received many comments about vehicles being driven at excessive speeds in the early and late hours of the day. This information has been noted and passed on to Dorset Police. BCSW can only operate during daylight hours and have limited resources – the more volunteers we have, the more we can do!
Suggestion – fitting a DashCam in a car may improve your driving ……?
‘Making a difference’
How nice it is to have summer temperatures that we might expect for this time of the year, and this certainly makes life at the roadside somewhat more pleasant when conducting roadside CSW (Community Speed watch) operations. Optimistically, the kinder weather might also provide an opportunity for anyone thinking of joining Broadstone Community Speed watch to come along to see what we do. If you need encouragement or information please feel free to contact BCSW via our website firstname.lastname@example.org leave your name and a contact telephone number, and one of our team volunteers will contact you to answer any questions or queries you may have.
As at this moment, decisions from BCP regarding the proposed ‘Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and the implementation of 20mph speed limits on Dunyeats road, Broadstone Broadway and the Ridgeway, are eagerly awaited. Undoubtedly both proposed schemes will have supporters and detractors, but the scheme most difficult to enforce will be the proposed 20mph speed limits. To remind readers of previous articles on this issue 20mph schemes should, wherever and whenever possible, be ‘self’ enforcing, this by the use of suitable traffic calming measures. It cannot not be assumed that Police will enforce 20mph speed limits.
With this in mind, residents on roads with a 20mph speed limit might ask ‘what is the point of implementing a 20mph speed limit if there is no enforcement? The answer is that if a CSW team exists in the affected location then this team may carry out CSW operations on 20mph roads, provided that such roads are safe and suitable for CSW operations.
Important to remember, BCSW volunteers are drawn from our community, and to monitor existing 30 mph roads and additional 20 mph roads BCSW will require additional volunteers. So, logically it might make sense for additional volunteers to be drawn from residents residing on those roads with a 20mph limit – this probably not discussed in any consultation!
Final thought – 63% of road casualties occur in built-up areas!
Better weather, more motorcycles, ‘Think Bike!’.
‘Making Broadstone a safer place to live’
June, a month in which we have the summer solstice and the longest day. Hopefully it will also be the month in which we may find ourselves being carefully steered back to some form of normality – fingers crossed?
Since 2014 BCSW has moved from being a fledgling organisation to one of the leading and most effective and professional CSW teams in Dorset. This confirmed if only by receiving commendations in 2017, 2018 and 2019, – 2020 and 2021 naturally being disrupted by Covid lockdowns and restrictions. The numbers of vehicles observed speeding has to date been reduced by more than 50% from that when BCSW was first established.
BCSW is currently supported by 11 volunteers, six of whom joined the team at the outset, so we must be doing something right. So, if you accept that speeding vehicles put residents and others at risk, if you wish to reduce such risks, then do take the first step and contact BCW or Dorset Police to offer your support to your community Speed Watch team. You will be warmly welcomed.
If you need convincing –
- The average cost of a fatal collision, from impact to closing of inquest, is £2,000,000. With almost 1800 fatalities on UK roads each year this equates to £3.6 billion pounds annually to the State and tax payers.
- Statistics show that more than 90% of recorded first time offenders are not observed speeding again by any of the hundreds of CSW teams appearing in totally unpredictable patterns within 12 months of receiving a first ‘advisory’ letter. Friendly proactive education is effective.
- Steering drivers towards a greater understanding of the potential consequences of their behaviour must always the primary aim of CSW
- Community Speed Watch is not about ‘catching’ speeding vehicles. It is about taking an interest in everyone’s safety. CSW cares about dog walkers, cyclists, pedestrians, all road users and others, because we are a community
- Finally, CSW do not enforce. CSW’s sole aim is to educate and inform.
Please drive safely, and drive considerately.
‘Safer roads, safer community, safer Broadstone’
Twelve months ago, when composing the monthly BCSW article for inclusion in the May issue of the Broadstone Link magazine, I referred to the unimaginable situation we were in with regard to the Covid pandemic and our first lockdown, but I did not expect that we might still be in a similar situation twelve months on!.
That said, the current indicators are promising but come with an emphasis and reliance upon each of us not to put others at risk by ignoring the rules put in place to ensure that our roadmap out of Covid remains effective.
In last month’s BCSW article it was indicated that BCSW might be able to redeploy on the 12th of April, and by the time you read this article you will have either seen us back at the roadside or not – as the case may be.
So, what has changed/is changing on our Dorset roads?
Not unusually, and as happened in the previous lockdown, the numbers of complaints about speeding vehicles increased quite dramatically and this in a period when the numbers of vehicles on our roads was higher countywide than that experienced in the March to July lockdown in 2020. If proof were needed, Dorset Police issued 780 speeding tickets, and the Dorset Police camera van team mounted 73 roadside operations, in the period 1st January to 1st March 2021 alone.
Another change is the Department for Transport’s initiatives to encourage people to get out of their cars and to increase facilities to facilitate more walking, cycling and use of Public transport. The initiatives include safer pavements, increased cycle routes, low traffic neighbourhoods and the introduction of new 20 mph zones/speed limits. The introduction of some or all of these initiatives has the potential to frustrate drivers, and it is imperative that the initiatives are fully supported by a comprehensive programme of education and information for all users.
Living on a road affected by speeding vehicles? Be part of the solution and join BCSW – e-mail: email@example.com
Please drive safely.
‘Safer roads, safer community, safer Broadstone’
Recent announcements in the media would confirm that the Department for Transport has given grants to Councils and Local Authorities to spend on projects to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians and to encourage people to make more use of public transport. To date, some projects, in the form of LTZs (Low traffic zones) and 20mph speed limits are already in existence. It is currently being proposed that 20mph speed limits might be applied to Dunyeats Road, the Ridgeway and Broadstone Broadway.
Whether you agree with 20 mph speed limits or not it cannot be denied that vehicles, travelling at 20 mph or below, greatly improve overall safety and reduce the risk of serious injuries and death. However, for 20 mph limits on their own to be successful they need to be supported by appropriate traffic calming measures (chicanes, bollards, Speed safety cameras etc). 20 mph speed limits therefore tend to be applied to minor urban roads where the traffic volumes and speeds are already low.
Another factor in the 20mph discussion is that, unless explicitly agreed, the Police will not routinely enforce on roads with a 20 mph speed limit. It is generally accepted that CSW teams will monitor vehicle speeds on 20 mph roads, but only where such roads have been risk-assessed by the Police and approved as suitable for CSW operations.
With this in mind, and if 20 mph speed limits are introduced to Broadstone, there could be an additional workload placed on your BCSW team. This then takes us back to previous BCSW articles placed in this magazine which have highlighted the need for more volunteers to join BCSW.
So, would you be interested in joining your Broadstone Community Speed Watch team? Need more information? Go to www.broadstonecsw.uk , BCSW Facebook page or contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding CSW and what is involved. Alternatively, go to www.DorsetRoadsafe.org.uk and register your interest.
Think safe, be safe, drive safely!
‘Safer roads, safer community, safer Broadstone’
With Covid restrictions seemingly with us for some time yet, I thought It may be a good time to examine one of BCSW’s ongoing challenges,
- Why is it that some people volunteer and others don’t?
- Some people seem to naturally volunteer their services.
- Some people would like to volunteer but hesitate and add it to the ‘to do’ list.
- The remainder will never volunteer for anything!
However, volunteering can be interesting, is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. In addition, it provides opportunities to meet and work with new people and make new friends. Personally, I fall into the ‘will always volunteer’ category, and this even whilst serving in the Armed Forces where volunteering was generally frowned upon. Thankfully I was rarely disappointed! Continue reading “Broadstone Community Speed Watch – March 2021”
Safer roads, safer community, safer Broadstone
It is a fact that once we get past the winter equinox the hours of daylight increase as we move towards spring and summer. However, good as that might sound, it does sometimes seem to be an eternity till the light and warmth returns to allow us to escape from winter.
This may be even more relevant right now when we are contained in another seemingly long but necessary lockdown.
“But what has this got to do with your Community Speed Watch?” you might ask. The answer is that like all other activities performed by volunteers there is an absolute need for their safety and welfare and, in the current circumstances the deployment of Community Speed Watch volunteers right now cannot be justified. So BCSW, and all other CSW teams in Dorset have been ‘stood down’ until such time as it is considered safe to redeploy. Continue reading “Broadstone Community Speed Watch – February 2021”
Safer roads, safer community, safer Broadstone
The Broadstone Community Speed Watch Team wish all Broadstone residents a Happy New year, and pray that 2021 will be full of hope and optimism for everyone.
From a Community Speed Watch perspective 2020 was challenging and difficult in that BCSW roadside operations in Dorset were suspended from March to July 2020, and again from November 2020 to January 2021. These interruptions to our normal activities did have a noticeable impact on our community and local roads in that the numbers of vehicles reported speeding, during both of the periods above, increased dramatically. This phenomenon reported widely and nationally.
Continue reading “Broadstone Community Speed Watch – January 2021”