New speed check groups to start: Rayne duo share experiences

PC James Draper with volunteers Paul Hayden and Martyn Phillips from Rayne, Essex

PC James Draper with Community Speed Watch volunteers from Rayne, Paul Hayden and Martyn Phillips - Credit: Essex Police

Two Rayne residents are hoping to encourage more people to step forward and help to reduce traffic speeds.

Paul Hayden and Martyn Phillips regularly monitor the speed of vehicles passing through the village.

They recently attended an open day at Braintree Police Station to talk about their work in Community Speed Watch roles.

A new group at Little Dunmow is about to start, and so is one for Castle Hedingham.

Groups already exist and will be restarting in Rayne, Bocking and Braintree, Cornish Hall End, Stebbing and White Notley.

Essex Police image: 29mph displayed on a hand-held speed device

A hand-held speed device that has recorded a vehicle at 29mph in Essex - Credit: Essex Police/ Safer Essex Roads Partnership

Volunteers use hand-held speed guns.

Details of vehicles that have exceeded the speed limit are passed to the police, who then write to the vehicle owner to advise them of the dangers and impact of speeding.

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Martyn Phillips has volunteered for more than 10 years.

He said the number of motorists recorded as speeding has reduced from an average of 14 during an hour to around three.

“We generally speak with drivers ourselves.

"Most are sad that they are caught - they might understand why they’ve been stopped but I don’t think they appreciate it.

"However, we are challenged infrequently and we’ve never had anyone be aggressive.”

Paul Hayden said they want to encourage people in other villages and towns in the district to start Community Speed Watch groups as ‘speeds can be horrendous’.

“Community Speed Watch is important because it makes motorists aware they are not adhering to speed limits.

“If you are doing 30mph and you hit someone, there is more chance of them recovering from that than if you are doing 40mph or 50mph, when the percentage of serious casualties and deaths goes up.

“The higher the speed, the higher the death rate.

“It’s a speed limit so if it says 30mph but the roads don’t allow it, you don’t do 30mph, you drive to the road conditions.”

Nicola Foster, Chairman of Safer Essex Road Partnership, said: “One third of deaths and serious injuries involve speed-related factors, illustrating how important it is for us all to watch our speed.

“This is why our Community Speed Watch volunteers are so valuable to the Partnership and the work we are trying to achieve towards Vision Zero.

“They really are making a difference in their communities and I urge others to see how they can contribute.”

See https://saferessexroads.org/policecommunity/community-speed-watch to get involved.