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‘Nobody would survive being hit by a car at 82mph… Here’s how you can help us tackle speeding in your community’

Last modified: 30 October 2018 at 05:11pm

If you saw what we saw, you’d never speed. But despite all the warnings, some drivers travel through our communities at ridiculous speeds, putting lives at risk. Here’s one easy way you can help us tackle them, says Jamie Smith of North Yorkshire Police’s Traffic Bureau.

Working together: Jamie Smith helps residents tackle speeding with Community Speed Watch

North Yorkshire Police recently released figures showing the fastest speed its safety camera vans recorded in a 30mph zone was 82mph, on Wetherby Road, Harrogate.

No pedestrian would survive being hit by a car travelling at that speed, and death would probably be instantaneous. It’s a horrendous thought.

Unfortunately, our officers see the aftermath of collisions like this first-hand. Sometimes, what they see is so distressing, even the most experienced officers have to be offered counselling.

So it’s in all our best interests to work together to challenge the threat that speeding drivers pose to our communities.

But how can you make impact on speeding vehicles on your road in partnership with North Yorkshire Police? Sounds like it would be pretty difficult right? In fact, it can be as simple as filling out one form…

The Speed Management Protocol (SMP) is a process used by North Yorkshire Police which logs concerns received from members of the public about speeding on roads within our county. Sometimes this is one of the main roads through their town or village where they live, or alternatively a road they frequently travel on.

SMP was devised with our “95 Alive” road safety partnership which is a group of local authorities and emergency services with the aim of reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. The campaign was formed in 2004 and aimed to save 95 lives between 2005 and 2010.

The initial campaign ended on 31 March 2011 by which time 126 lives had been saved. Because of this success, it was agreed that the partnership would continue and help to reduce casualties and collisions each year. In order to simplify the whole process, North Yorkshire Police’s Traffic Bureau became the sole point of contact for the SMP process rather than each individual district council.

The concern is logged via our Speed Concern Form which is available on the below link. Once the form is received, our Support Officers will log it on to the system and send out a request to our partners in the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service who will deploy data loggers on our behalf.

Volunteers launch Community Speed Watch in Topcliffe

These loggers are attached to street furniture and will monitor traffic speed, vehicle type and vehicle direction for 24 hours a day over a seven day period.

The data is then sent into the Traffic Bureau and an outcome is decided based on the average speeds, and the 85th% speeds. A relatively high speeding problem will be referred to the Safety Camera Team for Enforcement or to the Highways Agency to implement an engineering outcome. A relatively low speeding problem is referred to Community Speed Watch (in 20mph, 30mph and 40mph zones) to see if that would be suitable.

Letters are sent at each stage of the process to keep the original complainant updated. Once made, the decision is upheld for three years unless there is a significant change to the traffic flow in the area, for instance, a local road is closed which will divert traffic or a new housing estate is built.

If enforcement is decided, site assessments will take place and final legal checks are signed off. Once these are complete, they will be added to the live enforcement list and be visited as per the Traffic Bureau’s deployment schedule. You can see how many times a particular site has been visited by downloading our public facing data log, available on our website. If Community Speed Watch is the outcome, the original complainant or parish council will be contacted in order to find the names of people who are willing to take part.

Again site assessments will take place to see if the area is suitable and if so, training and equipment is provided by North Yorkshire Police. Our first ever Community Speed Watch group was actually set up in Pannal in 2016, and since first taking to the streets, residents have seen some excellent results.

Since then, other groups in the Harrogate district have been set up, including Tockwith, Skelton on Ure, Beckwithshaw, Burn Bridge, Ferrensby and Ripley. They’re all out there making a difference, and their work means we know this approach is effective when it comes to slowing drivers down.

If you saw what we see, you’d know why we’re so keen to tackle speeding drivers. Work with us.

If you know of a road that would benefit from intervention, a speed concern form is available under the Speed Management Protocol tab here: https://northyorkshire.police.uk/what-we-do/road-policing/traffic-bureau/traffic-bureau-what-else-do-we-do/

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