Speeding on Oxshott roads is of concern to all Oxshott residents.
Following discussions with Surrey Police, FEDORA is considering the creation of a Community SpeedWatch (CSW) Group, which would supplement FEDORA’s other activities to deal with traffic issues on Oxshott roads. CSW groups are becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. In Surrey, the programme is run by Surrey Police as a supplement to their own speed-control enforcement activities.
What is CSW?
A Community SpeedWatch scheme is run by a group of local residents with support from Surrey Police. The CSW group periodically uses speed detection equipment to identify speeding vehicles and pass the vehicle details to a Police Administrator. The Police send a warning letter to the registered keeper of the vehicle; repeated offences can result in the police visiting the offender.
This does not involve the issue of penalties or prosecution. However, if there is a persistent problem with a particular motorist the Police may target the driver of that vehicle and, if appropriate, take further action.
What is required to set up a CSW?
Six to ten volunteers are needed, who would devote on average one hour per week, each. One of them would be the designated co-ordinator to liaise with Surrey Police.
All volunteers would be trained by the Police in the use of speed monitoring equipment, health and safety, and how to manage enquiries from motorists and/or other members of the public. The Police will provide equipment including high-visibility jackets, at no cost. Volunteers will be covered by Police public liability and personal accident insurance and their employers’ liability insurance.
Where would speeds be checked?
It would be up to us to suggest sites which would have to be inspected and approved by the Police. The criteria include ensuring visibility for safety reasons. In addition, there should not be a conflict with other speed restriction measures and generally the site cannot be within 200 metres of a change in speed limit. We have not yet discussed sites with Surrey Police.
When would checks be carried-out?
It would be up to the CSW Group to decide, subject to pre-agreement with the Police. Volunteers arrange the times they want to target anti-social driving, which would normally be during peak periods. One reason CSW has support from the Police is that speeds can be monitored when the problem is likely to be greatest, as opposed to when Police resources are available. Residents of Stoke Road in Cobham successfully operate a scheme at two sites once a month; we may wish to do more frequent checks, at least initially.
What are the benefits of CSW?
- Direct involvement by the community demonstrates that local residents are concerned about speeding, which supports other initiatives to control speeding.
- Experience shows that, over time, overt monitoring of vehicle speeds influences drivers’ behaviour and helps to reduce speeding and improve safety, in turn playing a part in making communities feel safer.
- The data collected could be useful. We hope to make progress on key improvements to Oxshott roads based on what we know now, but additional data can only be helpful.
Once we have sufficient volunteers, FEDORA will support and assist the co-ordinator, especially in working with Surrey Police. COVID restrictions have put training on hold and there is a currently a backlog of 15 teams waiting to be trained but it is hoped to restart training shortly.
THIS NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT.