WE’RE sure the name Community Speed Watch is not unknown in and around Newton Abbot as the town has an active group of volunteers who give many hours to the scheme to help to keep the roads around Newton Abbot a safer place for everyone to use, writes Cllr Mike Joyce.

I’m sure you will have seen the team standing on the roadside in their High Viz jackets, taking down details of vehicles who pass them exceeding the speed limit.

So why do they do it? Have they not got anything better to do? They do it because they are local people who are passionate about road safety and are concerned speeding vehicles and the impact they have on their local community (and yes, the volunteers do have other things they could focus their time on, but until drivers learn to drive within the speed limits and SLOW DOWN, then they will continue with their mission to educate drivers to drive safely and within the speed limits of their local community).

The fact is SPEED KILLS. Devon and Cornwall Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly work in partnership with Vision Zero South West - whose ambition is to cut road deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2040. Community Speed Watch plays an integral part in supporting this vision.

Community Speed Watch and its volunteers actively support their local police with road safety. Volunteers are trained to use a speed monitoring device and deploy to authorised, safe roadside sites to operate from. Any motorist who passes them exceeding the speed limit will receive an educational warning letter from the police.

You may also, from time to time, see other police colleagues working alongside the CSW team. If you do, then be aware that those officers will be using a Home Office Type Approved speed detection device, and if caught passing faster than the speed limit by those officers, then drivers will receive a summons rather than just a warning letter.

Around other roads in Newton Abbot there have been installation of VAS equipment. These are vehicle activated signs which record speeds of passing vehicles 24 hours a day. This equipment is funded by Vision Zero South West and enables the monitoring of speeds in more locations around Newton Abbot than could otherwise have been possible.

The Newton Abbot Community Speed watch team hold four sets of Community Speedwatch kit so can deploy more than one team at a time. They choose any day during the week and any daylight hours between sunrise and sunset to operate from, but they are not authorised to operate in adverse weather conditions.

The CSW Team are always welcoming to new people joining them. New members will receive training in how to use the monitoring equipment and will be provided with a high viz jacket to wear during each roadside session.

► If you are interested in joining, or wish to join them on a session to observe them at work then please do contact Mike Joyce: [email protected] or 07712 668969

► More information about the scheme and how to join can be found here: Community Speed Watch (CSW) - Devon and Cornwall Road Safety Team (Devon & Cornwall Police) (devon-cornwall.police.uk)