11.11.2016 - Is SID the deterrent the county has been seeking?

Colne Road, Cambridgeshire, has inherently been a hot-spot for drivers exceeding the speed limit, and despite years of deterrents from both local communities and police initiated schemes, the problem still persists to the present day.

Back in 2014, Community Roadwatch (UK) CIC, an independent non-police-affiliated volunteer staffed company, began monitoring the stretch which is exposed to high volumes of traffic of commercial and domestic traffic, in a bid to safeguard local residents and those, including children who frequently use the adjoining pathway to and from school.

In its latest attempt, CRW has installed a Speed Indicating Device (SID) within the village. Differing slightly in design to those that are more commonly recognised elsewhere, the technology is focused on raising awareness of speed on outbound journeys, as a pose to ‘judgemental or instructional’ signage utilised to display ‘Slow Down’, or similar messages.

David McCandless, Managing and Coordinating Director of Community Roadwatch (UK) CIC said: ‘’Our intention is education, rather than castigation. We genuinely believe that in most cases, it is a lack of appreciation for exceeding the speed limit, rather than deliberate behaviour. We have notified 100 commercial organisations of speeding offences, and 85% of them have proactively responded, which supports our claim that together we can improve the situation.’’

The success of the campaign will be purely dependent on results, but early indications are positive. Since the SID has been in place, figures revealed a decline of approximately 50% of drivers surpassing the legal speed limit. However, the remaining 25% of the 14,000 plus vehicles that were travelling outbound, is still too high, with 56 vehicles registered over 50mph in the 30mph zone.

County Cllr Steve Criswell said: "We welcome this initiative which enables drivers to be reminded of their speed and if over the limit, be given the opportunity to reduce it voluntarily. Compliance for the benefit of local residents is always the preferred option as opposed to enforcement.’’

The new initiative has been funded by local business, Mick George Ltd, who has provided £3,000 to enable the project. This isn’t the first collaboration of the two parties, as earlier this year Mick George Ltd launched an on-going ‘safer roads’ campaign, introducing reduced speed limits, no drive zones and safety education to youngsters throughout its operating areas, specifically for Heavy Goods Vehicles.

Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’The nature of our business means that we’re particularly visible on the road, in and around the county, and subsequently have an obligation and commitment to ensure the safety of local communities in which we operate.’’

Stump continued: ‘’As well as our ‘safer roads’ campaign, and liaising with local residents to introduce things such as SID’, we have invested in our fleet, adding high standard vehicles equipped with advanced safety features including our new Econic trucks.’’

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