26 May Nearly every driver flouts Gosberton 30mph limit
Article originally published 04 September 2018 on spaldingtoday.co.uk by Lynne Harrison
Drivers hitting speeds up to 106mph in a 30mph limit at Gosberton can expect a visit from the police if they don’t mend their ways.
The village is one of 11 in South Holland on the brink of going live with Community Speedwatch, where trained volunteers ‘clock’ them on radar guns and pass details to Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership.
Repeat offenders can expect two warning letters but a third instance will bring the police to their door.
A new interactive speed sign put up in Gosberton High Street in June has revealed that almost everyone passing the spot is travelling at 40mph or more in the 30mph limit, and they too will be caught in the net.
Rowland Perry, who represents the parish council on Speedwatch, says there are ton-up drivers at all times of day, with top speeds recorded of 106mph, 104mph and 101mph.
“We weren’t just shocked, we were flabbergasted to put it mildly,” said Coun Perry. “We thought how the hell can someone reach that sort of speed in such a short distance. They’re not blue light (emergency services) vehicles because they’re only allowed to do a top speed of 70mph in a 30mph limit.”
He said data recorded by the camera is being passed to the police and, as a result, the police have become “very interested” and had more of a presence in Gosberton.
The top ton-up drivers were all going towards Quadring but, almost as shockingly, some 97.43 per cent of the 27,319 vehicles heading that way in the seven days up to August 28 were travelling at 40mph-plus.
And 98.8 per cent of the 28,367 heading into Gosberton from Quadring were also going above 40mph.
Gosberton found its 12 Speedwatch volunteers after Coun Perry made an appeal in this newspaper and on social media.
Working in threes, they will record speeds and vehicle details in High Street, Belchmire Lane, Bowgate and Westhorpe.
Volunteer groups in South Holland are already equipped with radar guns but are waiting for their official high-vis and signs, and some for speed check-sites to be signed off as safe.
Coun Perry says the Gosberton group is ready to get started because speeding has plagued the village for too long, and certainly for the nine years he’s lived there.
He said: “Sooner or later someone is going to get killed and we would like to get started before that happens.”
Among other villages where volunteers are trained and ready to start are: Weston, Deeping St Nicholas, Pinchbeck, West Pinchbeck, Moulton, Moulton Seas End, Cowbit, Whaplode St Catherine, Sutton St James and Gedney.
Some 90 percent of people who get a first official letter after being caught speeding by Speedwatch volunteers don’t go on to re-offend.
Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership spokesman John Siddle says that’s the experience from Cambridgeshire and he hopes the picture will be similar or better here.
Speedwatch volunteers will pass on data from the roadside to county coordinator Dave Mitchell and there will be a Police National Computer check, resulting in a letter going to the registered keeper of the vehicle.
“Ninety per cent of those people who have an initial letter don’t receive a second one,” he said.
For the 10 per cent who do commit another offence, there’s a second letter.
A third offence brings the police to the door.
Mr Siddle said officers will use their discretion and give “words of advice”.
He said: “It’s about making sure they (drivers) understand their actions and saying ‘we will be looking out for you again.’
“We will see how that goes but, hopefully, that should be the end of it at that point.”
Mr Siddle said once again using the Cambridgeshire example, most drivers are willing to take those words of advice.
The roadside Speedwatch teams record the speed of a vehicle, its registration and the make, model and colour as well as the time and location of the offence.
Mr Siddle says it won’t always be the registered keeper of the vehicle who was at the wheel but if the car is owned by a mum or dad, they are not going to be terribly happy about their son or daughter exceeding the limit.
He says the same will be true where the registered keeper is a business and an employee is speeding.
Mr Siddle says the first teams could be active within days.