Sway Community SpeedWatch
STATEMENT FROM HAMPSHIRE CONSTABULARY : "Community SpeedWatch (CSW) is a locally driven initiative where active members of the community become Police Support Volunteers and work with the Police to monitor speeds of vehicles at specific locations using speed indication devices. The initiative allows the community to address the issue of speeding by becoming actively involved in road safety and working in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary".
This page is updated regularly to show up-to-date information about Sway Community SpeedWatch activities. The latest update was at 21:10 on 22nd April 2017.
If you would like to become a Sway Community SpeedWatch volunteer, please email email@example.com or follow the links on our contact Sway Parish Council page. If you are interested in a Community SpeedWatch group elsewhere, then follow this link for more information.
Latest SpeedWatch News: (See our News page for highlights of previous SpeedWatch sessions)
22nd April 2017 Another week of Sway Community SpeedWatch. 95 vehicle details sent to police. Highest speed recorded 51 mph. Numbers low due to it being Easter week. We still need more volunteers so please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. It is a great way of meeting people and holding very fascinating conversations during the quieter moments between those speeding vehicles! It's also a very worthwhile way of giving something back to the community. It will not however keep you off the streets!!
This webpage is maintained by Sway Community SpeedWatch volunteers. This is not an official Hampshire Police Community SpeedWatch website. It exists purely to inform the residents of Sway and anybody else who may be interested in the Community Speedwatch initiative as operated in Sway.
The Community SpeedWatch initiative as a whole is managed by the Police. Sway Community SpeedWatch volunteers record details of speeding vehicles and send them to the Police. The Police then issue warning letters to registered keepers of the vehicles. These letters are signed "Sway Speed Watch Co-ordinator" however, if you receive a warning letter and wish to discuss it, you should always contact the Police on 101, or email email@example.com. You can also write to:
Please do not confront any of our SpeedWatch volunteers either directly or indirectly. We are simply concerned local residents who voluntarily donate a lot of time and effort to this initiative in a bid to reduce the problem of speeding motorists. Our Sway SpeedWatch coordinator is our contact with the Police in relation to the running of the SpeedWatch initiative within Sway Parish. The coordinator does not set policy, design letters or in any way have control over anything that the Police do with information recorded and passed on to them by Sway Community SpeedWatch.
Sway Community SpeedWatch volunteers have been surveying traffic speeds around the Parish since April 2014.
Those people you see in high visibility jackets standing beside the road in all weathers with the "Smiley SID" equipment that flashes up your speed, are all local residents who have been certified and authorised as Police Support Volunteers with Hampshire Constabulary. They give up many hours of their time in a bid to improve road safety in the Parish and surrounding areas. During the first year of its operation in Sway alone, this totaled nearly 900 hours of volunteer time.
The aim is to improve the safety and quality of life of all who share the roads. As such these efforts are recognised by the New Forest National Park Authority and others as one of many initiatives to reduce animal road traffic accidents in the New Forest.
The locations where they perform their surveys have been checked and authorised by the police.
The Community SpeedWatch initiative is managed by the police. Across Hampshire as a whole there are in the region of 80 similar groups totalling around 800 volunteers. Funding for the equipment used in Sway was through the Parish Council. Our Speed Indication Device (SID) is shared between Sway Parish Council, Boldre Parish Council, Lymington and Pennington Town Council and New Milton Town Council who each covered one quarter of the cost. Sway Community SpeedWatch is run by the volunteers led by the Sway Community SpeedWatch coordinator whose role is to act as the point of contact between us and the Police.
Latest results for Sway are reported to the Sway Parish Council Planning and Transport Committee by the Sway Community SpeedWatch representative.
A typical SpeedWatch session involves two or more SpeedWatch volunteers standing at the roadside for 1-2 hours noting the details of any vehicle recorded by the SID travelling at excessive speed as defined in ACPO guidelines.
Details recorded by the volunteers include the Registration Number, Make, Model and/or Colour of the vehicle. A list is sent to the police who check the details and then warning letters are sent to the registered keepers of the vehicles.
Keepers of vehicles recorded as persistently speeding may receive a visit from a member of a Police Safer Neighbourhood Team. Community SpeedWatch is intended to educate drivers, not to prosecute them, although if someone has been recorded as repeatedly or excessively exceeding the speed limit, this information may in future be taken into consideration in the event of the driver subsequently being caught speeding by the police.
The Speed Indication Device itself records vehicle speeds but not the vehicle details. This speed data is extracted by Sway Community SpeedWatch volunteers and analysed to produce trend charts and identify locations that are of particular concern. All this is reported to Sway Parish Council who may use it to propose further action to improve road safety. It is important to understand that speeding is antisocial, affecting the quality of life of others and has been highlighted in a survey of Sway Residents as being of utmost priority.
Some charts generated from SID data are shown below.
Click on a graph to expand to full size.
Chart showing the speed of each individual vehicle during a single Community SpeedWatch session.
Such detail would not normally form part of the report to the Parish Council, but it does show graphically just how many motorists exceed the speed limit. In this instance the data is of northbound traffic on Pitmore Lane near North Common Lane between 8:30 and 10:30 on the morning of Wednesday 20th January 2016. A total of 345 vehicles passed by, 161 (fewer than half) observing the 30 mph speed limit. Two vehicles were recorded at 47 mph, 79 at 35 mph or more. This was fairly typical for this location at this time of day.
Overall Speeding Trend Chart.
The rather busy chart above shows the percentages of vehicles exceeding 30 mph, 35 mph, 40 mph and 45 mph at each SpeedWatch session since July 2014. Most recent data is added on the right after each session. This does not take into account the location where the data was collected so simply gives a rough indication as to whether the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit by those amounts is rising or falling. As can be seen from the trend lines of 20 session rolling averages, we are still not yet seeing any significant change in driver behaviour. Around 45% of all drivers still exceed the speed limit, 18% at 35mph or more.
Speeding Trends on each road surveyed.
In the chart above you can see how the percentages of drivers obeying the speed limit on each of the roads surveyed is altering over time as SpeedWatch progresses. The lines have been smoothed to show the trends more clearly using 8 session rolling averages. We hope that as time goes on, these charts will show a substantial increase in those obeying the law at all locations. Generally they appear to show a small but hopefully significant improvement from when we started in 2014 but this is really not yet good enough. One location that appears to be improving better than the others is up on the open forest at Pitmore Lane North by the allotments as shown by the white line in the chart. There has been considerable focus on animal accidents over the past few years, with a dedicated mobile speed enforcement unit being funded by the verderers, so maybe this is the reason. Remember that speeding is not only dangerous, it is also antisocial. Consideration for all road users must be uppermost in every driver's mind.
And never forget, exceeding the speed limit is against the law.
The Speed Indication Device is a very sensitive and accurate piece of equipment. Regular calibration using the supplied 30mph tuning fork ensures that it correctly displays the speed. Several ad-hoc tests with volunteers driving past at known speeds have also confirmed the accuracy of the device. For more information about Speed Indication Devices refer to the CA traffic website.
Finally some Quite Interesting statistics? Click to view full size.
As you can see the Total number of volunteer hours is quite a bit larger than the number of hours spent at the roadside. This is because there are several other activities involved in Community SpeedWatch including; preparation of the data that is sent to the police, planning and organising SpeedWatch, collecting and analysing the statistics, attending SpeedWatch meetings, etc.
Our volunteers are absolutely marvellous. We are a well motivated and successful group but are always in need of new recruits. If you are interested in joining Sway Community SpeedWatch, please talk to any of our volunteers or contact the Parish Council. It is a great way of helping out in the local Community as well as often being hugely entertaining. It is quite surpnsing just what the volunteers chat about out there! All it takes is a small amount of your time once a month. All training is entirely free!
Project Pictogram is an initiative supported by Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue. The aim is to highlight "The Fatal Four" causes of death and injury on our roads - Inappropriate Speed, Driver Distractions, Lack of Seat Belt and Alcohol or Drug Impairment. It is hoped that as we see more of these pictograms displayed on commercial vehicles, it will eventually become second nature for us to follow the messages. We hope many might want to go one stage further. Since these pictograms are freely available to download from Hampshire Fire and Rescue's website www.hantsfire.gov.uk, we would encourage everyone to print and display them on their own vehicles. Doing so might mean thinking twice while sat behind the wheel.
Anybody who would like to display a pictogram on their vehicle can obtain them from the Hampshire Fire and Rescue website here, or may wish to click on the image below to expand, save and then print it.
Follow them on Twitter @roadsafetypic .
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