NORTH WALES COMMUNITY SPEED WATCH NEWSLETTER
Issue 2 October 2016
Suddenly it’s time for the second North Wales Community Speed Watch Newsletter, this seems to have come around very quickly, can it really be two months since the first was produced?
The latest scheme to be set up is in the Llanfair DC & Graigfechan area. The group are very enthusiastic and already have 9 members and potential members. They have also purchased two of the Bushnell devices thanks to the Coordinator Steve Whipp, Steve is a member of the Community Council for Llanfair DC, Graigfechan and Pentrecelyn, he persuaded the Community Council to fund these devices.
Another scheme is in the process of being set-up in Cynwyd which should be ‘live’ by the time this newsletter is published.
Twitter Account Set Up
We now have a North Wales Community Speed Watch Twitter account @CSWNorthWales which was set up with the help of Sgt David Edwards, GoSafe in the Dyfed Powys Police area, please follow us and help promote road safety.
I am particularly pleased to report that several North Wales Community Speed Watches took part in Project EDWARD on 21st September.
Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death) was supported by all 30 European TISPOL member countries, and a growing number of road safety organisations have pledged to work with TISPOL to promote the messages of EDWARD as far and wide as possible. It was hoped that, with support from colleagues and partners across Europe, Project EDWARD would be a high-profile way of reminding everyone that there is a great deal of hard work going on across Europe towards 2020 casualty reduction goals – and beyond that, too.
After all, driver behaviour remains the most important barrier to progress as we approach 2020 and its reduction targets.
Caught Using Mobile Phones? –Penalty to Double
Drivers are unwittingly or sometimes knowingly putting other road users at risk in so many ways, perhaps by speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a seat belt, using the phone while driving, using vehicles they have not kept roadworthy, parking their cars on bicycle lanes, blocking pedestrian crossings, not turning on their lights or engaging in risky manoeuvres.
But it’s not just drivers who are at fault. Many cyclists and pedestrians increase their risk levels by choosing to ignore the rules or look for risky short cuts. In the days leading up to the Project EDWARD day, all road users were encouraged to think – even for a few short minutes – about the risks they face, the risks they may pose to others and how they can go about reducing those risks.
TISPOL’s target was that no one should die on the roads of Europe on Wednesday 21st September. And as we paused to reflect on how we use the roads, it was believed that Project EDWARD could make a significant contribution towards further sizeable and sustained reductions in road death and serious injury.
Groups were out in Abermorddu & Caergwrle area, Buckley, Llanfair DC, & Holywell
In total North Wales Community Speed Watch groups contributed 30 hours of monitoring with 14 letters being sent out as a result.
GoSafe Operators not just focussed on speed offences
GoSafe operators in the North Wales area continue to enforce speed limits across the region, as well as dealing with seatbelt and mobile phone offences.
Many motorists are not aware that GoSafe can process such offences but it is clear that mobile phone and seatbelt misuse is a contributory factor to casualty figures.
GoSafe vehicles across Wales will soon be displaying extra signage to inform the public of the good work we do in areas apart from speed enforcement, all of which are designed to reduce casualties on Welsh roads
Speed Reduction Officers across North Wales have performed many hours of speed enforcement in recent months. 515 hours in May, 546 hours in June and 623 hours in July. Sites are selected based on criteria that can be found on the GoSafe website at http://www.gosafe.org/cameras/where-we-place-cameras.aspx
Following on from the above Ministers want to double the punishment for the illegal use of a mobile phone while driving, under new plans.
Motorists caught using a handheld phone while driving are currently given three penalty points and a minimum fine of £100. But that could be increased to a six-point penalty – meaning new drivers would lose their licence the first time they are caught using a handheld phone – and a minimum fine of £200.
Edmund King, AA president, recently said: “This is radical. One text and you’re out. But if we are to change the attitudes of young drivers maybe it has to be that harsh. They are going to have to turn off their phones at the wheel otherwise they will be taken off the road.” New drivers who are disqualified have to pay for a new provisional licence and have to pass theory and practical tests again to regain their full licence.
New Initiative with Dash Cameras
More experienced drivers can lose their licence if they get 12 penalty points within a three-year period.
It is frightening when you consider that figures from the Department of Transport show that a driver distracted by their phone was a factor in 492 accidents in Britain in 2014 – including 21 that were fatal.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the tougher sentences would be introduced as soon as possible.
He said: “As technology develops, mobile phones are common place, but we need to take responsibility for our actions and as drink or drug driving has become socially unacceptable, so must using mobile phones at the wheel.
“It may seem harmless when you are replying to a text, answering a call or using an app, but the truth is your actions could kill and cause untold misery to others.”
Research published recently by the RAC found that almost one-third (31%) of motorists admitted using a handheld phone behind the wheel, compared to just 8% in 2014. The proportion of drivers who admitted sending a message or posting on social media rose from 7% to 19% over the same period.
CSW Dyfed-Powys is launched
Dyfed-Powys region has 13 CSW sites that have gone live or are just about to launch. Dyfed-Powys have linked in with North Wales Police to ensure the system works in as efficient manner as possible.
North Wales Police provide the back office support which means that offences in the Dyfed-Powys area are logged, and the dteails are then sent to North Wales where the warning letters are generated. This sytem ensures that the administrative functions are performed in as effective a manner as possible, with minimal time spent completing the paperwork. Gwent Police are also in the process of linking their administrative functions with North Wales Police to again take advantage of the efficientcies that can be achieved.
GoSafe have liaised with a number of local Neighbourhood Policing Teams and have provided support in terms of equipment, risk assessments and training.
GoSafe Dyfed-Powys conducting risk assessment with NPT staff
There are several other Dyfed Powys CSW sites going through the process where risk assessments need to take place and vetting of volunteeers needs to be completed.
GoSafe within Dyfed-Powys are already linking in well with CSW volunteers. An example of this is a site in Solva that has already been taken on as an Operational GoSafe site due to high speeds that were recorded during the risk assessment process.
How many of you have dash cams fitted in your vehicles? How often have you observed dangerous driving? Well things are about to change. Soon you will be able to send your dash cam footage to the Police who will take appropriate action based on the footage you supplied.
With the number of dash cams fitted in cars increasing daily this will mean that potentially there is a much greater chance that incidents of Dangerous Driving will be caught on camera and drivers who drive dangerously will be prosecuted.
This new initiative is being pioneered by North Wales Police and is named Operation Snap. Further details coming soon.
Visit to St Asaph Base
The promised visit to the St Asaph GoSafe base and Central Ticket Office has been arranged for Friday 7th October 2016 please arrive between 6.15 and 6.30pm, numbers are limited so please book with John Morris asap.
Recruiting new Members
We will be running a recruiting campaign shortly to increase the numbers of groups and group members, so if you know anyone that might be interested please direct them to our web page http://www.north-wales.police.uk/media/489355/Community-Speed-watch-Application-Form-V12.pdf
If anyone wishes to contribute an article or photograph for inclusion in the newsletter please forward them to me at John.Morris@nthwales.pnn.police.uk.