Villagers at Ford step up campaign to cut drivers' speed
A pair of gates have been put up at a village near Chippenham to remind drivers to slow down in the 40mph zone, where one speedster was clocked going at 74mph.
The action has been taken as a result of about 1,500 drivers exceeding the limit in Ford over the past year.
A group of nine concerned villagers got together in July 2012 to monitor traffic speed through the village, and have been passing on vehicle numbers and recorded speeds to police.
As a result of their efforts, police have sent out warning letters. Anyone caught twice is placed on a persistent offenders’ list, and after three times receives a visit from the police.
It is estimated from a metro count system that 1.25 million vehicles go through Ford each year. A spokesman for the speed watch team said a fifth of those caught speeding had been going at more than 50mph and about six per cent, or about 90 vehicles, had exceeded 60mph.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, drivers wearing seat belts have a 60 per cent risk of being fatally injured in a frontal impact at 50mph, compared with 17 per cent at 40 mph.
The speed watch leader, who like the rest of his team did not want to be named for fear of reprisals from motorists, said: “Some of the speeds are staggering.
“To all intents and purposes to people it’s just a continuation of the main road, but it isn’t; it’s our village and it’s a 40mph limit.
“There are lots of elderly people here, and children and walkers on the Macmillan Way.
“If anyone hits them at over 50 when they’re crossing the road, they’ll be dead.”
PC Toni Evans, community beat manager for Chippenham Rural, said the police fully supported what the volunteers were doing and it would have an effect.
She said: “It’s preventative and educational. It’s really good to see communities involved and supporting Wiltshire Police and being proactive rather than reactive.
“I will be issuing tickets when I go out with members of the teams at Ford and Sutton Benger.”
The pair of white gates and reflective welcome signs, costing £3,418, were launched in Ford last Thursday at a ceremony attended by Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott and police Sergeant Phil Connor.
The project was funded by a £2,018 Chippenham Area Board grant plus contributions from North Wraxall Parish Council, the parochial church council and the community hall fund.
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