SPEED Watch teams of local residents in Tidbury Green are celebrating, after putting the brakes on speeding motorists – despite one driving straight at them on one occasion.
The residents were the first in the borough to be equipped and trained by local police with the speed gun, and over the intervening 18 months parish councillor Tony Last said the accident rate had plummeted: “There used to be some very serious accidents around here but since the introduction of the speed gun we’ve had none – it’s a case of so far, so good,” he said.
His comments followed news that residents in Ashleigh Road are also to be trained up to use the gun to trap speeding motorists.
“For us it has made a major difference,” said coun Last. “It’s still bad, but it was terrible before with the highest speed recorded being 67 mph in a 30 mph area – and people still regularly exceed 40 mph. One angry driver even drove straight at us.”
The trouble for law breaking motorists racing through Tidbury Green is that they don’t know where the team of volunteer residents will have set up their camera.
Almost like a squad of guerillas, locals, working in groups of three, regularly change locations to catch the speeders out.
“If a driver is speeding we note the make, colour and registration number of the vehicle and this is then passed on to the police,” said Coun Last. “They of course can then check to see if the driver is insured and they’ll take it from there.”
Law breakers can then expect up to two warning letters from the police with a prosecution likely when a third hits the doormat.
And with a question mark over the future funding of speed cameras up and down the country Coun Last says he can see the citizen armies of parishes being used more and more.
“With parish councils the Government wants to give us more powers because it costs them nothing, while for us it keeps the speed down in our area.”