Speed spotters on look out for recruits

Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A councillor hopes more people will join his community Speedwatch group to stop speeding and potentially save lives in his village.

Peter Turner, chairman of Long Melford Parish Council, is a member of the village’s community Speedwatch group and is supporting a county-wide campaign to recruit more volunteers to similar projects across Suffolk.

Speaking about his fellow members in Long Melford, he said: “As with all volunteers, they are busy people, but all are concerned about the speed of traffic entering and leaving the village.

“In my earlier working life, I saw all too many times the impact of road traffic accidents for both the victims and their families. For many, their lives would never be the same again.

“In my teens, I raced on two wheels both at home and abroad. One of my team-mates was knocked off his bike by a speeding motorcyclist and seriously injured.

“This knocked the emotional and physical stuffing out of a lively 20-year-old and he never really recovered.”

The group maintains a presence each week on the main routes into the village, sending details of speeding vehicles caught on their camera to Suffolk Police, who then send letters to the offending drivers.

“We are not an enforcement agency, it’s more about education,” said Mr Turner. “Just standing there in yellow jackets can have a calming effect.

“If we encourage just a few drivers to slow down, we will have achieved something.”

Mr Turner warned that Speedwatch groups could only work with committed bands of volunteers.

He added: “There is a great team spirit and, although we take the task seriously, there is friendship, mutual support and some very rewarding moments.”

If you are interested in becoming a Speedwatch member, or would like to find out more, contact Suffolk Police on 101.