POLICE managed to catch a motorist speeding twice in just one hour monitoring the roads of Dartmoor. At their fastest, the driver was going 69mph, well over the 40mph limit that covers the national park.

Speed gun
(Devon and Cornwall Police)

In a statement, police said: 'One hour on Dartmoor Speed Enforcing - High levels of non-compliance with the 40mph speed limit (introduced in 1998)'This driver was detected speeding not once, but twice today, higher speed of 69mph. You never know what awaits you around the next corner.'

Drivers are advised to be extra carful on the moor due to the increased risks associated to themselves and to the livestock and wildlife that call the moor home. Winding roads and changeable conditions already make for increased risk, but with unsealed roads, poor lighting and roaming animals, the moor is uniquely dangerous for cattle and the iconic Dartmoor pony.

As Dartmoor’s livestock protection officer, Karla spends her life up on the moor, working with the Dartmoor Livestock Protection Society and the Dartmoor Commoners’ Council to look after the National Park’s animals and respond to reported injuries or deaths.

Speaking to the Mid-Devon Advertiser earlier in the year, Karla explained the the issue of deaths on the moor has only got worse as time has gone on.

‘There’s a blanket 40mph limit on the moors, but if you hit a pony, even at 30, it’ll be very serious,' said Karla. ‘You’ve got to drive to the environment, to the conditions. But even then, we often find that more animals get killed on clear nights because people put their foot down.

‘Dartmoor is for everybody to enjoy, but ultimately it’s a working landscape. It’s the home for animals and birds to graze and flourish and live in safety. They don’t know there are roads, but they have a total right to be living there, so drive with awareness and to the conditions of the road.

animal hit
A wave of collisions was reported to Karla in the spring (Karla Mckechnie)

‘If you do hit anything, you must report it, even if it’s an anonymous call. Just phone it in and say you’ve seen something. It’s just so unnecessary. It’s abuse. You can’t leave an animal suffering like that.

‘Phone it into me. I’m on call 24 hours a day, I always pick up the phone, but if by the off chance I don’t, I will always ring it back. There’s no need. It’s so unnecessary to leave something down and injured. I’d rather have someone call me and it’s a load of rubbish than not have a phone call at all. No matter what, just call it in.'

Karla is on call 24/7 for hurt or dead livestock, her phone number is 07873 587561.