Speedwatch-helping keep our roads safe


‘Cllr. Sherry Jespersen, (Dorset DC). giving her support to Child Okeford Community Speedwatch’.

Community Speed Watch has been operating in Child Okeford since November 2014, starting just as the scheme was being rolled out across Dorset – there are now 60 teams in the county and the Police intend this to increase.

With pedestrians (including families, the elderly, dog walkers), cyclists and horse-riders regularly using the roads that have no footpaths or street lighting, including the often congested area around the shop and The Cross, it doesn’t take much imagination to think what could happen.

Three teams are on duty for one week each per month to remind and educate those who habitually and indiscriminately speed through the village, carrying out as many watches as personnel and weather permit. The Police are notified in advance each time, partly for information, partly in case an incident occurs and support is needed, but also so that their No Excuse teams can visit us whilst on duty. More often than not our presence is enough to slow drivers down, but typically when monitoring outside the Village Hall, 200+ vehicles pass in 1 hour, with 10/12 transgressors or more reported to the Police. Educational letters are sent, and a driver offending three times will be visited by the Police – at this stage they also use the information for intelligence in case the speeding could be in connection with crime.

The cost of a fatality is not just a human one. The Operations Manager of the Road Safety Team (Police) recently pointed out it costs £1.4m to deal with a fatality, with 18 in Dorset this year. More encouragingly, he also said that compared to 2006, in 2016 there were 44% less fatalities thanks to combined efforts of the various Police operations and CSW teams.

Most of our team members have been volunteering since the beginning and will at some stage wish to step down, as a few already have. Presently one team is fully staffed (to allow for flexibility and unavailability) but the other two are running on minimum numbers. If you are concerned about the traffic speed in the village and would like to find out more or consider volunteering (only takes 1 – 2 hrs per month).

Please contact me on: 01258 861612 or [email protected]

Celia Ebdon

Speed Watch Co-ordinator

PS: The speed indicating device which operates in three places in the village is not run or owned by Speedwatch. If you spot any problems with the SID [speed indicating device] not working in the village please contact Councillor Smith on 01258 860440 or be email at [email protected]

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