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PAST NEWS JANUARY 2013

COMMUNITY SPEEDWATCH - an update from Margaret Harris, Co-ordinator

SAMFirstly, I would like to thank the team of dedicated volunteers who have helped me to carry out 52 CSW sessions since the scheme stated in June 2012. They have been out in all weather, wet, windy and cold at various locations throughout the Parish and will continue to do so during 2013. Our sessions have resulted in Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership issuing 68 letters to multiple offenders who we hope will take heed and try in the future, to be comply with speed limits so our Parish is safer for everyone. During the period 4th-16th February, you will see the CSW team out and about using a new piece of equipment on loan to us by the Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership - SAM (Speed Awareness Message), a mobile sign, activated by passing vehicles, to remind drivers and riders about the dangers of excessive and inappropriate speed.

Chris Spinks, Chief Inspector, Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, Norfolk/Suffolk Constabulary recently issued the following statemen with regard to the efforts of local CSW teams::

"CSW is invaluable in reducing speed of drivers through urban areas and as a result makes these areas safer for the community. CSW allows the members of the community to help themselves to make the area a better place to live. Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership supports Community Speedwatch across the county and as chair of that Board and Head of Roads Policing for Norfolk and Suffolk I am an ardent supporter of the work carried out. CSW forms the lion’s share of the volunteer support to the Constabulary with in excess of 700 volunteers engaged in activities. The fact that this high number of people are prepared to give up their time shows a high level of belief in the benefits in the system and if the volunteers are there I struggle to think of a valid reason not to kick a scheme off.

Killed and Serious Injury collisions in Norfolk have decreased by large numbers over the last 10 years and while there is a variety of reason for this, CSW schemes should take their share of the credit in this success story alongside activities of the police and Local authority Road Safety depts. Academic evidence shows that the most effective legislation is that seen to be the most regularly enforced. What better way to work towards speed compliance in your area than to see your community members out there enforcing that legislation, I concede that CSW do not have the power to prosecute offenders but the warning letters sent out as a result of the information gathered by the CSW schemes are proven to work with very small number of re offenders."    


Please keep our hedges clear of the roads and verges!

Everyone will be aware that we are working hard to try to maintain and improve the quality of our villages’ roads and footpaths. In addition to securing better maintenance of road surfaces, kerbing, drainage and so on, work is in progress concerning frequency of heavy vehicle use and associated noise and wear and tear.  Very importantly, our community is supporting the drive for increased road safety and the need for careful and considerate road use.

Issues such as heavy lorries needing to pass each other and through traffic use mean that it is vitally important to ensure that our roads retain their full width.  It is important that hedges and trees, often forming the boundary to property adjacent to the road, do not overhang to form a physical barrier nor create difficulty for road users’ clear vision.  This can be a particular problem at road junctions and bends.  Therefore, we ask all those responsible for properties that border our roads to make sure that their hedges and other boundary foliage are maintained in a way that does not obstruct nor overhang the roadway.  There is a statutory requirement for this and it would be embarrassing if the circumstance was reached whereby a landowner were to be instructed by the appropriate authority to make good any obstruction.  Failure to comply with this could lead to the work being carried out by a council contractor and the cost charged to the landowner!
 

 
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