One of the most frequent concerns raised by members of the public that live in Warwickshire Rural Villages is excessive speed.
What is Community Speedwatch?
Community Speedwatch (CSW) is a national initiative where active members of local communities join together to monitor speeds of vehicles in their local area with support from the police. In Warwickshire each group uses the LTI Speed Lasers independently purchased by either the group itself or the local parish council.
Any vehicles found to be exceeding the speed limit are referred to Warwickshire Police and receive a letter with the aim of educating drivers to reduce their speeds. However, in cases where education is ignored and there is evidence of repeat or excessive offences, even across county borders, enforcement and prosecution follow. More information on Community Speedwatch can be found here https://communityspeedwatch.org/
Impact of speeding
In rural areas fatalities are four times more likely to happen than in urban areas, the discussion about road safety has a tendency to focus on number of collision casualties alone. In most areas where Speedwatch operates and where speeding evidently is a concern to the communities, the quality-of-life issue as well as feeling safe when using the roads recreationally, are equally important to the affected areas’ residents. This is not an attempt at diminishing the dismay of the high number of fatal and seriously injured victims but a reminder that the problem of speeding goes well beyond quantifying its consequences with casualty statistics alone.
Bearley Community Speedwatch
In Autumn 2021 local resident Ray Greening attended a Parish Council meeting raising his concerns for the excessive speed of cars and lorries travelling through Bearley. Having gathered support from local residents with similar concerns the mission was set to see if there was appetite to gather volunteers who would be willing to help set up a Community Speedwatch group.
The overwhelming response was yes, all with the best interests of making Bearley a safer place to live.
Supported by Warwickshire Police, recruitment and training of volunteers, equipment supplies and feasibility assessments were carried out in June 2022.
Bearley now has 8 volunteers, all local residents, formerly trained by Warwickshire Police who will be carrying out Community Speedwatch checks commencing July 2022.
Thanks go to PC Liam Allen and Councillor Ian Shenton for their advice and support in setting up Bearley Community Speedwatch group.