Marham Community Speedwatch
Community Speedwatch is a Norfolk Constabulary initiative that enables communities to improve road safety in their towns and villages by raising awareness of speed limits where drivers significantly exceed the signed limit.
In 2008 the Marham Parish Council identified through the Parish Plan survey that public opinion showed that speeding was a major concern of residents; this was supported by the RAF Community Liaison Officer who had often voiced the Station’s concerns over road safety.
The Norfolk County Council carried out official surveys and provided the evidence to support the Parish Council’s bid to be trained and equipped to conduct Speedwatch. The team consists of volunteers
trained in the use of radar speed guns in sites that are surveyed and approved by the Norfolk Constabulary as safe for both the team and drivers; not necessarily the speeding or accident blackspots as they don’t all meet the aforementioned criteria.
The teams consist of three members who conduct the monitoring sessions approximately once a week. Each team member witnesses and verifies the data collected, reducing the possibility of human error and protecting against any claims of perceived victimisation. The data is forwarded to the Constabulary, who then issue a warning letter. Motorists who are noted as repeat offenders by the Constabulary are dealt with using an escalating scale of punitive measures available to them and at the discretion of the Norfolk Constabulary.
It is important to note that Community Speedwatch supplements the local authority’s road safety strategy and that the Road Safety Partnership (camera van or roadside laser speed equipment operative) and the Police often conduct monitoring and are not shackled by some of the limitations imposed on the Community teams and work to more stringent limits; the Police and Road Safety Partnership identifying motorists exceeding speed limits invariably leads directly to prosecution so being caught by Speedwatch is definitely a preferable (and less expensive) way of being made aware of your lapse in safety awareness and an opportunity to think about what caused you to speed!
The safety of children, pedestrians, runners, cyclists and other motorists is the only concern of the Community Speedwatch Team but with only five members currently trained, the Parish is asking for more volunteers to support this valuable scheme and secure its future. You need only give your time as often as you can and to suit your availability, if you are interested and would like to observe the team in action with a view to joining the team then please contact the team co-ordinator via the Marham Parish Council Clerk firstname.lastname@example.org or the Station Community Hub.