Road Safety News
 

Call for communities to set speed limits

Tuesday 29th March 2011

Communities should be able to set their own speed limits and help catch offenders, Baroness Newlove (pictured), the Government’s communities champion, has recommended (Telegraph).

In one of a series of suggestions, she said communities should be able to set their own speed limits and even help police the zone with cameras. The recommendations are included in a review by Baroness Newlove on how to tackle anti-social behaviour and petty crime.

In her first report as the Government's communities champion she said it was time for the public to ‘reclaim their streets’. Baroness Newlove was appointed following her campaigning after her husband was beaten to death by a gang in 2007.

She highlighted examples in Cambridgeshire, Devon and Cornwall where volunteers are given speed guns and pass the evidence on to the police.

Her other proposals include council tax rebates, or vouchers to spend on local services, to be given to those who take an active role in making their neighbourhood safer.

Lady Newlove said: "For too long now, too many people have either not known how to get involved, have not been listened to when they have tried to speak out, or simply felt that it wasn't worth it as nothing would ever change.

James Brokenshire, minister for crime prevention, said: "I look forward to seeing how her report will help to shape how we approach community activism in the future."

Click here to read to full Telegraph report.

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Bob, are you really suggesting that women don't make good police officers? I hope I am reading that wrong and that you're not being grossly sexist.
And all vehicles already come with voluntary ISA, it's the pedal on the right...
Dave, Leeds

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Perhaps someone would draw the well-meaning but totally misguided (and extremely unfortunate) lady that we would appreciate her vocal support to the earliest possible introduction of voluntary ISA ... then we could get back to business.
Andrew Fraser

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I too am a retired police officer but I have to take issue with Roy, the police service is no longer well selected, usually female, a graduate possibly under 5'6" tall, unfit, unprepared, unwilling and unable to do the type of work they have to do. Highly trained, well they do a 6 week basics and never look at a road traffic act. They know very little about traffic offences and are not taught them. Dedicated - they can now claim overtime for putting on their uniforms and 5 minutes extra time answering a phone means four hours of overtime. Many of them do not leave the station. All a far cry from the service that Roy and I knew.

As for the comments of Baroness Newlove, I am afraid she lives in a world of her own, chaufer driven do doubt. It is well known that pedestrians are only a small fraction of KSI on the roads and that the majority of accidents happen in 30 mph speed limit areas. The government is now intent on reducing that blanket limit in townships to 20 mph. Many places are seeing them instituted on their local avenues and streets as a prelude to the overall reduction of speed and whilst I have no problem with this I do take exception to the cushions and humps that they are putting in place, no doubt that these will be removed once three is such a blanket limit, to appease those that would argue against such a limit.
Bob Craven

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For Alan in South Gloucestershire

You are on the right track Alan. I have been the Road Safety Officer in Sutton for over 16 years after retiring from the police with nearly 34 years service, most of which was in an elite group known as the Metropolitan Police Traffic Division, 1,500 officers who were "well selected, highly trained and dedicated to their vocation." Halcyon days indeed.
Roy Buchanan, Principal Road Safety Officer, London Borough of Sutton

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Not sure whether Roy Buchanan is a road safety professional or serving or retired police officer but what he has written is sound common sense and I agree with every word. Sadly sound common sense seems to be held as redundant nowadays.
Road safety is not a cottage industry and never should be whilst people are dying or suffering life changing injuries.
By the way I am a road safety professional and a retired police traffic officer.
Alan Hale, South Gloucestershire

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There are groups setting fire to speed cameras in parts of the UK - Humberside and Lincolnshire for example - if this level of resentment were focused on civilian individuals who were enforcing limits they had set with cameras who knows where it might end. Perhaps it is time to start looking at the bigger and more difficult issues to deal with in road safety.
Dave, Leeds

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As I have said many times before to the point of boredom, law enforcement is best left to the police; a disciplined, uniformed, para-military civilian organisation that is well selected, highly trained and dedicated to its vocation. Unfortunately, this concept appears to frighten the British public and their fears are inflamed by irresponsible scare-mongering by the media. Whilst I am very sympathetic to Lady Newlove's appalling experiences, her suggestions can only be described as well-intended but vacuous. I would recommend James Brokenshire not to look forward to see how her report shapes policing in the UK but to look abroad to see how other countries are already doing it better.
Roy Buchanan, Sutton

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