Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service has jointly run a campaign to reduce the speed people drive through local villages in the region as part of Brake's Road Safety Week 2013.
The village of Broadclyst has a growing aged population, with approximately 1,500 children either living or going to school in the village, so DSFRS, along with Cornwall Police and Broadclyst Traffic Group felt that the speeding culture needed to be addressed.
Statistics show that at 20 mph, 97% survive an impact with a motor vehicle, at 30 mph, 20% are killed and at 40 mph, 90% are killed.
Gareth Sydenham of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service said: “The road safety week speed event was a great example of partnership working with various agencies combining to address a serious problem in a specific area. The number of speeding drivers identified highlighted the seriousness of the issue. All the drivers spoken to agreed that the education message received with far more impact given by the school children and it meant their driving behaviour is more likely to change.”
The Broadclyst traffic group placed display boards at all the village entrances emphasising the dangers of excessive speeding and speeding motorists were interviewed and videoed by pupils at Broadclyst Primary School. In their first speed watch from 8am to 3pm on Tuesday 19 November, 1 in 10 vehicles on the B3181 heading towards Exeter were recorded speeding.
The exercise was repeated with the pupils at Clyst Vale Community College on Friday, monitoring speeds on Station Road. The exercise ran from 10.30 hours through to 15.30 hours and the children interviewed 27 motorists. The top speed recorded was 52 mph in the 30mph limit outside the Primary School. Small groups of schools children also received road safety instruction in the Services Education Fire Engine.
Inspector Paul Morgan of Devon and Cornwall’s Neighbourhood Policing Unit said “Vehicles travelling at excessive speed threaten lives. It is an issue that causes concern within many of our communities and the increase in the number of Community Speed Watch volunteer teams is testament to this. “Brake Week” develops this concern to the next level.
“The Broadclyst Traffic Group has developed local action plans for a safer environment for all road users and has built a partnership of dedicated residents, local representatives, schools, police and fire services in order to deliver increased safety for all. School Speedwatch sessions were successfully combined with Community Speedwatch activity and input from various agencies to create a high profile week of action that serves as a grand example for other parts of the force area. We are grateful to all who participated.”