COMMUNITY volunteers are giving up their time to help make the roads in the Hilcote area safer.
Police have teamed up with residents to set up a Community Speed Watch scheme in Hilcote, Blackwell, Newton and Westhouses to raise awareness of speed limits and encourage motorists to slow down.
It follows concerns from residents about excessive speeds and road safety and the issue is currently being targeted as a priority for the Tibshelf, Newton and Blackwell Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team.
The scheme involves volunteers and officers patrolling together and using the speed radar guns to note any vehicles travelling at excessive speeds. A letter is then sent to the owner to advise them about their speed and asking them to respect local limits.
Motorists are advised that they were caught speeding as part of the Community Speed Watch check and informs them about the speed limit for that stretch of the road and about community concerns.
Drivers will receive two warning letters but if they are caught on a third occasion, then they will receive a fine.
PCSO Paul Brownlee of the Tibshelf, Newton and Blackwell Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Community Speed Watch has been set up as a direct result of concerns from residents in the villages of Blackwell and Hilcote.
“We have had a fantastic response from the local community and hope the initiative will not only result in a reduction in speeding but will also help educate motorists about local limits and safer driving.”
Signs are put up in the area to advise motorists about the checks and the volunteers wear high-visibility jackets.
Funding for the equipment has been provided by Blackwell Parish Council and also from local firm HW Martin, who are also supporting the initiative in an internal campaign to remind their staff about safe driving.
There are currently 25 volunteers who have been trained to take part and further training sessions are being planned over the next few weeks.
Nick Willens, Chair of Blackwell Parish Council said: “The parish council is pleased to be able to support the Community Speed Watch initiative and respond to the concerns of our local residents.”
Ian Newham, Vice Chair of Blackwell Parish Council added: “We would like to thank PCSO Brownlee for all his efforts in setting up the scheme in our area.”