Guest blog: It's time to kill our speed and help keep our roads safe
DPCC Jerry Herbert:
As part of this week's National Road Safety Week we're reminding the community what they can do to contribute towards keeping Wiltshire roads as safe as possible for all its users, whether we are motorists, pedestrians or cyclists.
There are many contributing factors towards staying safe on our roads, not least making sure our vehicle is road-worthy, particularly in bad weather or low light which is of course more likely at this time of year. Simple checks like always ensuring your windscreen is free of mist and ice (or snow!) before setting off, lightbulbs are in working order and windscreen wiper fluids are topped up could literally make the difference between a safe journey, or otherwise.
We often refer to the fatal four within the Police; the four biggest preventable causes of accidents on our roads. These include not wearing your seatbelt, being distracted whilst driving, exceeding the speed limit and drink or drug driving.
I'm passionate about killing speeds on our roads. It's such an easy thing to be mindful of and we must remember the speed limit isn't a target, rather a top speed, and more often than not it's much safer to be well below the speed limit, taking all circumstances into account. Other roads users, road conditions and weather contribute to what speed should be travelled at to get to our destinations safely.
We have over 100 active Community Speedwatch schemes, all doing their bit to help tackle speeding. Trained by Wiltshire Police, volunteering members of the public are equipped to measure drivers speed, report it and as a result, offenders will have the appropriate action taken against them. Communities can therefore contribute to their own area's safety by requesting a scheme to be run where they believe road users to be exceeding the speed limit regularly.
During a recent scheme in a village outside Amesbury, 17 drivers were spoken to by police officers who were exceeding the 30 MPH speed limit. One driver was recorded doing 42 MPH and was subsequently issued a fixed penalty notice. This will undoubtedly deter drivers from frequently exceeding the speed limit and help keep our county's roads safe.
Why don't you think about ways you might be able to help keep not only yourself and your family but your community and other road users safe and to ensure we don't remember this festive season for all the wrong reasons.