System a ‘game changer’ for identifying speeding drivers

12.26 | 21 May 2019 | | 11 comments

A new community-led system for monitoring and managing road traffic speeds is being made available across the UK.

Designed to complement traditional Community Speedwatch schemes, AutoSpeedWatch automatically identifies speeding vehicles – although the system does not issue fines or directly penalise a speeding motorist.

The technology can distinguish between vehicles that are driven persistently or particularly fast, and instances where the driver has ‘made an occasional mistake’.

Tim Gibbs, founder of AutoSpeedWatch says with that information, police forces can deploy limited police resources in a ‘far more efficient’ way.

AutoSpeedWatch was recently involved in a week-long trial by Avon and Somerset Police, with 800 vehicles caught speeding on a 30mph road outside a First School.

Several drivers were recorded speeding on four or more occasions – with the technology revealing their typical driving times.

Tim Gibbs, founder of AutoSpeedWatch, said: “AutoSpeedWatch is a game changer because it means that communities can help the police identify the worst and most persistent speeders automatically and objectively.   

“Police forces can see the same vehicle speeding through each location and can prioritise their resources towards the worst and habitual speeders, rather than annoy those morally-aware drivers that have made a simple mistake.  

“In many ways it mimics the traditional roadside Community Speedwatch schemes but without the safety or abuse risks of being roadside.  

“Frankly, traditional Community Speedwatch schemes can suffer because it’s difficult to get volunteers to put up with the dangers, especially in all types of weather.”



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    The price was raised for the following reasons:

    1. Since the launch we’ve developed over 30 improvements to the function and operation of the system, including automated vehicle lookups, improved reporting, and better power management.
    2. The introductory-price finished at the end of December.
    3. We’ve had more than one of our existing customer feeding back that it was way too cheap (and devaluing it’s own proposition by appearing cheap).

    Despite some analysis showing the market value at £1500, we’ve limited the increase – we’ve always wanted to keep it as affordable to communities as possible whilst keeping the whole system viable. We still believe it does a lot for the price.

    Tim Gibbs; founder

    Tim Gibbs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I see the price of these units has rocketed – it was £295 – it’s now £549 – what has changed to produce this.

    David Jones, Maisemore
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    “The major benefit of CSW is that the operations provide a visible deterrent with the operators in their yellow garb etc. This unit is small, grey, discrete…largely invisible to drivers who are passing its location. This will not be noticed at all by fast drivers.”

    The major disadvantage of CSW is that a group of operators in yellow garb etc cause the majority of drivers to lower their speed – the measurement changes the activity being measured. The next day when the CSW team are not out normal speeding resumes. The ONLY way to change attitudes to speeding is to massively increase the chance of getting caught, the fines, and the risk of losing licence. All the effort of CSW to send out a warning letter thats obviously just going to be ignored seems a waste of everyones time.

    Use these to gather much more intellegence and then do highly targeted covert enforcement to take the habitual speeders off the roads.

    Simon Still
    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

    I agree with you Hugh that’s exactly right, it is an intelligence gathering device for the police to follow up on the serious, habitual speeders. It doesn’t stop the CSW yellow jackets from acting as a deterrent as they always have. Every little helps!

    S Neale, Bath
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    Billy – it’s not so much a preventative measure or a deterrent, but an intelligence gathering device for the police to follow up on the serious, habitual speeders.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (4) | Disagree (1)

    After a detailed look at the website I have found a series of claims with no evidence of any trial results or use by any CSW group.
    The major benefit of CSW is that the operations provide a visible deterrent with the operators in their yellow garb etc. This unit is small, grey, discrete…largely invisible to drivers who are passing its location. This will not be noticed at all by fast drivers.
    Small and cheap radar units are notoriously prone to errors in traffic monitoring situations.
    The unit gathers the evidence of speed then a largely toothless note is sent out to speedy drivers after the event. I woudl predict such a notice is likely to cause irritation rather than any form of useful effect on the driver.
    No evidence of effectiveness and a removal of any visible speed measuring activity…I really can’t see anything positive in this unit at all.

    Billy Lewins, Sunderland
    Agree (8) | Disagree (7)

    The way to make 20mph limits more effective is to enforce them like any other limit. There is no justification for assuming that a speed limit for protecting vulnerable road users shouldn’t need hard enforcement measures. That is one of the conclusions of the Atkins report that we do agree with.

    Rod King, Warrington
    Agree (5) | Disagree (4)

    These look very promising. They might be a way to make 20mph limits more effective. It would be interesting to find out more and how the police use them.

    David Davies, London
    Agree (5) | Disagree (7)

    For some time we have been saying that new, low-cost and effective technology will transform enforcement, whether it be “soft” enforcement like this or “hard” police or local authority enforcement.

    This combined with increasing numbers of ISA vehicles on the road will both reduce the cost of catching offenders and offer alternatives for dealing with them.

    Rod King, Warrington
    Agree (11) | Disagree (7)

    I notice these are around £300 to purchase which is probably one of the most cost-effective road safety tool around and I’m surprised there haven’t been anymore supportive comments. Councils, the police and safety camera partnerships only need to buy a handful between them, move them around and use the information intelligently. They’re cheaper than VASs which are only passive anyway, easier to install, discreet and don’t have to be part of a community speed watch programme apparently.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (18) | Disagree (18)

    Could indeed be a game-changer if used extensively. Previously, similar devices could only record date, time and speed but not vehicle details. Now, it looks like intelligence gathered can be used to target persistent offenders.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (16) | Disagree (19)

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