Many will have seen our volunteers standing beside the road alongside a Speed Indicator Display (SID). The Parish Council purchased this Last year in partnership with Chineham Parish Council and both share its use. The operation, aimed at reducing traffic speed through the village, has the full support of the local police, and local officers often accompany us on a Speedwatch run.
The device uses microwave technology to detect the speed of approaching vehicles which is then displayed on the front panel so that both the driver and the volunteers can see this. A smiley or sad face is also displayed depending on the speed of the vehicle. Details of vehicles found exceeding the speed limit are noted down by the volunteers and reported to the police via the Police National Computer.
Speeding drivers are sent a warning Letter from the police in the first instance and repeat offenders will be sent a sterner letter and may receive a visit from the police. All the volunteers have been trained and know the rules and what to look for. In reporting the vehicle we may also make other comments such as ”driver using mobile phone”. The police may follow these up. Not all drivers of the vehicles reported will get a letter, however. The police do not inform us why but we understand that in a few cases there may be other issues of interest to the police.
Since our first run in May Last year, we have visited 7 different sites in and around Old Basing and Lychpit. Around 160 vehicles have been reported which works out at fewer than 10% of the vehicles passing by. This is very good, but from our observations it is clear that many drivers spot us in advance and slow down in time. Clearly we are having an effect but it would be nice to think that drivers keep to the limits at all times – or is that too much to ask?
When we are out pedestrians and, sometimes, drivers stop to talk and offer support and/or help. Volunteers are always welcome so if you would like to put your name forward contact the Parish Clerk.
Cllr Peter Bloyce
OB&LPC Speedwatch Coordinator