Community Speedwatch (CSW) is a road safety initiative to reduce traffic speeding on local roads, particularly through villages and built-up areas. The scheme enables volunteers, alongside the Safety Camera Partnership, to work within their community to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding and to promote safer driving. Breaking the speed limit increases the likelihood of an accident and the severity of any accident that occurs.
Community teams undergo a training session and police assess each site to ensure safety at the roadside; their role is to verify and record the registration number of vehicles seen to breaking the speed limit. Volunteers are highly visible and make use of a speed detection device, it is usually clear to vehicle drivers their speed is being monitored. This may be enough deterrent for many motorists to slow down and realize that antisocial and speeding is not acceptable.
Speeding motorists will receive a letter from the police explaining the potential risks and consequences of their behaviour. If the vehicle is seen and recorded again a second and final letter will be sent. Persistent offenders may be targeted further. Speeding drivers are not prosecuted or fined as a direct result of CSW activity.
Community Speed Watch has many benefits and it gives residents an opportunity to increase road safety in their area, and support activities to reduce the likelihood of road traffic collisions and injuries.
It is hoped that the letters vehicle drivers receive as a result of exceeding the speed limit may make them continue to reduce their speeds at all times.
Road users can be of different types and include different ages, from schoolchildren to senior citizens; they might use the road to drive, walk, cycle, travel as a passenger in a car or on public transport.
All communities are affected by road safety issue; reducing casualties and helping local people to get around without fearing for their safety may take time, but it can be achieved.
If you are over 18 and are interested in volunteering, just a few hours a month, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at the CommunitySpeedwatch.org website to learn more about the scheme.