Stansted Community Speed Watch: Call issued for volunteers to keep safety group on the road
The future of Stansted’s Community Speed Watch team is under threat unless more volunteers can be found.
The road safety group, which for the past 10 years has set up regular patrols to record motorists’ speeds along key village routes, will soon have just one member left.
Two members over 80 are having to step down and a third person is moving away from the area.
Villager Ray Woodcock is one of those whose age now prevents him from carrying on. In a statement read out to Stansted Parish Council at its meeting last month, he said an urgent solution was needed.
“Stansted Mountfitchet Speed Watch team will have to disband very soon unless there are, as a matter of real urgency, new members who the police will train,” he said.
“The Speed Watch team has tried to recruit more people, male and female, with no success.”
The traffic monitoring scheme is led by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP), working alongside Essex Police, but is actually managed and carried out by community volunteers.
They are required to complete training. Each group manages its own speed recording device, which is callibrated annually. Members have to wear hi-vis jackets and display roadside signs while monitoring the traffic.
The SERP says: “By increasing the existing methods of education and recruiting and involving local volunteers, Community Speed Watch benefits the communities themselves by helping to reduce anti-social behaviour and the number of injuries from road traffic collisions.
“Local Neighbourhood Action Panel (NAP) meetings have identified excess speed as an important issue for local communities, and it is a known significant contributory factor in many road traffic collisions.
“More than 95 Community Speed Watch groups are now operating across Essex, providing regular monitoring of vehicle speeds within their own locations. Results are forwarded via log sheets to the casualty reduction unit for processing, and warning letters sent to the registered keepers of the vehicles monitored travelling in excess of the posted speed limit.
“Log sheets are also monitored to highlight those communities that would benefit from additional police enforcement based on evidence of poor levels of compliance.”
Anyone interested in volunteering should email Mr Woodcock at firstname.lastname@example.org.