Ok, I understand
Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. For more information, please see our privacy policy.
Skip to main content

Kent Community Speedwatch.

By FREDA ENGLAND KNOCKHOLT PARISH COUNCIL

Friday, 12 January 2018

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

KNOCKHOLT PARISH COUNCIL Contributor

VIEW ALL ARTICLES BY THIS AUTHOR

Find out more about this community in:

What is Speedwatch?

It is a community based scheme that helps volunteers make their local roads safer by reducing speeding without penalising passing drivers.

The scheme started in mid Kent in 2006 and went countywide in 2011.

How does Speedwatch work?

A group of two or three police trained volunteers operates at carefully selected roadside sites where speed limits of 20, 30 and 40 miles per hour (mph) are in place. Using a portable speed indication device, they accurately measure the speed of passing vehicles.

Without using photography, the volunteers capture and report the following details of vehicles travelling at or above nationally recommended speed thresholds (25, 35 and 46 mph):

  1. Registration
  2. Make
  3. Colour
  4. Speed
  5. Time.

The details of vehicles reported speeding are stored by Kent Police for 12 months and cross referred to Sussex Speedwatch Observations. A letter of advice will be sent in to the registered owners of vehicles who repeatedly* speed and/or drive at more than 50% over the limit. Police officers hand deliver advice letters to frequent offenders or those that exceed the limit by 90%. (Letters are sent on the 2nd observation anywhere in Kent and Sussex. Previous data shows that 89% of vehicles seen by Kent Speedwatch volunteers are not seen again in the next 12 months so therefore no letter is sent.)

Speedwatch is an education based scheme. No drivers will be directly prosecuted, fined or given penalty points as a direct result of any Speedwatch activity.

Does the scheme work?

In most locations yes it does, why not all? Due to the layout of some locations this may exclude Speedwatch from setting up safely, however happy to review locations. Lower Hardres is an example of where Speedwatch has made a difference – a few years ago when the scheme was set up 80% of vehicles that were passing were speeding, now the team are annoyed if they hit 5%! – the team go out once or twice a week, different days, times and locations.

Brasted have seen a fall in their speeders too.

Are you a habitual driver?

We have all done it when we get in a car and we are driving to work or home wandering what will be happening today, we are listening to music and be become in a driving bubble – a car… we start to drive on auto pilot, knowing where the bends are, where the children stand in the morning for school etc. – when Speedwatch are out and about the flash of the screen and a hi vis jacket breaks that habitual driving and the driver then checks the speed of what they are doing, wandering if they have been seen and caught…..

Remember – if you see a Speedwatch team out and about – you will be looking for them the next time you travel that way and you will slow down too!

So who operates a Speedwatch scheme?

Schemes can be started by any recognised local community group, like a Parish Council, a Residents’ Association or just a small group of concerned residents. Using our website to enter the observations of speeding provides Kent Police with details of vehicles that have been seen committing offences and also allows for immediate feedback to schemes as to what letters are due to be sent, allowing for reporting by parish councils.

In addition to this we also check DVLA for TAX and MOT offences, DVLA are automatically updated via email if a vehicle is seen with to TAX placing them at the date and location for DVLA to follow this up.

Is there a Cost to start up?

There is a cost involved in starting CSW up – currently KCC highways and our Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Scott have offered match funding 1/3 each and then the final 1/3 from the parish council for a CA Traffic Speed Indication Display – this currently costs £ 1800+VAT, full details attached–however this funding is limited and may not renew for the next financial year.

What support is available to volunteers?

Kent Police helps schemes get started safely by training all new volunteers and pre-approving areas where they will operate.

How to start a Speedwatch scheme

  • Find other volunteers in your area who want to tackle speeding. For safety, there must always be at least two people aged 18 and over at the roadside. Usually there are three people in a group, but never more than four.
  • You will need to buy, share or borrow a suitable speed indication device.
  • Contact Speedwatch Support, they will arrange the necessary safety awareness training and carry out risk assessments at any new sites you want to use.
  • Speedwatch volunteers decide for themselves at which approved sites to operate, how often and for how long. For safety, Speedwatch schemes can only operate during daylight hours.

 

Local enforcement

Information gathered in relation to speeding vehicles will be used to inform speed enforcement campaigns, educational opportunities and other road safety initiatives in the future including the deployment of safety camera technology. Details of vehicle’s and observation will be retained for 12 months and are cross referred to Kent and Sussex records, identifying

 

Speedwatch performance in Kent

Year

Number of schemes

Number of observations

Advice letters sent

% of obs gen letter

2012

39

6,443

558

8.6%

2013

58

13,344

1,404

10.5%

2014

69

20,655

2,607

12.6%

2015

75

27,721

2,643

9.5%

2016

103

34,669

5,100

14.5%

2017

~205

35,720

5,363

15.0%

Total

102,832

12,312

14.1% average

 

 

  • Almost 90% of speeding vehicles are not detected a second time in Kent by any Speedwatch scheme in the next 12 months.
  • Over 80% of speeding vehicles that generate a first advice letter do not get another from Speedwatch in Kent in the next 12 months.
  • The proportion of speeding vehicles which generate four or more letters in a 12 month period is only around 1 in every 2,000.

 

Social Media

As part of our system we use Twitter and Facebook to raise the profile of the work of Speedwatch – please follow us @kentspeedwatch on Twitter and search Kent Speedwatch on Facebook.

 

What’s Next

If anyone would like further information about Kent Community Speedwatch or to take part in the funding opportunity please contact

Alan Watson – Speedwatch Manager - Kent Police

Telephone – 01622 653781 or email csw@kent.pnn.police.uk

Contact Information

FREDA ENGLAND

  • 07711412458

Find KNOCKHOLT PARISH COUNCIL

Knockholt, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 7LD

DIRECTIONS

Additional Information

If you wish to make an enquiry or booking of the Village Centre Hall please contact thadaway@btinternet.com who is the Booking Secretary.