Red light to village speed cameras

A BID to clamp down on speeding drivers by equipping residents with hand-held speed guns has today been shelved.

A BID to clamp down on speeding drivers by equipping residents with hand-held speed guns has today been shelved.

Debenham Parish Council had applied to take part in the Speedwatch scheme - which would have seen volunteers take to the streets to monitor the speed of traffic and pass on details of any motorists flouting the law.

It is running elsewhere in the UK but after a trial of Speedwatch in other parts of the county, Suffolk police have decided not to press on with the scheme.

The move came despite strong public support to get the project up and running. A poll on the village's website showed more than 70per cent of people supported the plans.

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Mick Morley, chairman of the parish council, said: “Other parts of the country have implemented it successfully and the decision is very disappointing, particularly as we have volunteers willing to help.

“There is official speed monitoring in the village but it is infrequent and often at times when there is the least traffic on the roads.

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“Our main difficulties are during the rushes to and from work and school and the monitoring doesn't tend to be done then.”

The parish council wanted to monitor drivers' speed and “remind people that they should behave more appropriately.”

It was hoping to work in conjunction with a neighbouring village so the people operating the speed cameras in Debenham were not from the village, avoiding potential problems with intimidation or accusations of favouritism.

Under the scheme, already working in other parts of the UK, parish councils are given the chance to record the speed of vehicles travelling through their area.

A speed indication device is set up to measure how fast vehicles are moving within the lower speed limit.

This is a sign that shows the driver their speed - but only if the vehicle is over the speed limit. The registration numbers of vehicles found to be speeding are then logged.

If a driver is found to be speeding twice within a 12-month period, the registered owner receives a warning letter from the police.

If the same vehicle is caught three times, there is another warning and the possibility of further action by police.


n Do you think Speedwatch could help in your town or village? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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