|Chaldon's knights of the road|
|Friday, 21 October 2011 09:52|
The Community Speed Watch team in Chaldon has been monitoring the traffic in Rook Lane, where speeding vehicles have become a serious problem.
Chaldon resident and Speed Watch volunteer, Richard York, wrote the following article about the role his team plays in trying to help crack down on dangerous driving:
"In recent years at any meeting of Chaldon villagers one complaint has always come up - the high speed and large volume of traffic in Rook Lane. We can't do anything about the volume of traffic in our Lane but we can try to do a little about the speed. Pressure from our council and others has resulted in the Vehicle Activated Signs and some police presence. This latter is limited and in this age of self help a small band of volunteers take to the streets every couple of weeks for an hour or so (if it is not raining!) to have a pleasant chat and record the registration details of any vehicle that passes at over 35 mph. The purpose of the two Community Speed Watch teams is not to catch drivers breaking the law but to remind them that they are driving along a village 'lane' where the legal speed limit is 30mph and not on the motorway. We are doing our job if everyone goes by at 30mph after being flashed by drivers that have passed in the opposite direction. On one occasion a police officer who was coming to check on us was flashed!
"The reaction of drivers to our presence is very varied, some wave or give a thumbs up, the odd one or two stop to ask if we can do it in their road. In most sessions we get a few vulgar finger gestures sent in our direction and only once has someone stopped to remonstrate with us (they did not get out of their car). Never has anyone shown any violent intent. The fastest that I have seen was a post office van at 51mph which did not slow at any stage. Once we clocked a Rolls Royce at 40mph and 20 minutes later going in the other direction also at 40mph.
"The list of registration details is given to the police after each session and the Chief Constable of Surrey writes an admonitory letter to the vehicle's owner and a note is put on the record so if the same vehicle is caught by the police the history will be taken into account.
We all have a strange attitude to speeding (and by 'we' I include the volunteers). In the event of a road traffic incident we often say 'he was driving too fast' and at the same time we object to speed cameras and the busybodies who do Speed Watch. We all drive safely even if we go above the legal limit but nobody else does!"
To find out more about establishing a new Community Speed Watch scheme contact your local Casualty Reduction Officer on 0845 125 2222. For more information about the scheme visit http://www.surrey.police.uk