Community Speed Watch: We spend a morning with the volunteers helping to tackle speeding drivers in Pinchbeck
In just 20 minutes, 239 vehicles are counted, three of which are speeding, including one that later appears to have no road tax or MOT.
We are standing next to the Spalding Road in Pinchbeck, on a particularly crisp morning, with volunteers in high vis jackets, who are part of the area’s Community Speed Watch team.
Signs have been put up, informing members of the public that the scheme is in operation. Yet, when some vehicles come round the approaching bend, it is clear that they have had to suddenly slow down.
The highest speed recorded on this morning is 42 mph in what is a 30 mph limit.
Volunteers today are Pinchbeck Parish Councillor Terry Moore, retiree Derek Jackson and Community Speed Watch area coordinator Jan Whitbourn.
Terry is in charge of the radar speed gun and, after 18 months involved in the scheme, he can already anticipate if people are speeding, before the gun even records it.
Derek notes down the number plates of those recorded as speeding, and Jan is in charge of the 'clicker' that counts the number of vehicles that have passed through.
“It is hard to get volunteers but this has proved that it does actually work," Jan explained, as we arrived at the site for the morning's session.
"You have just seen that they (Derek and Terry) have put the sign out explaining that Speed Watch is happening and we can visually see that people have slowed down. So even tomorrow, people will be coming along and they’ll be looking to see if the sign is there and looking to see if anyone is out and they’ll be slowing down.
"I know people won’t always want to be coming out and doing this sort of thing, but we do need volunteers.
“It is literally an hour’s training and to come out and do this is just amazing because you can visually see people are slowing down.
“It is important that we get it in all the villages, and for people to be able to go out as much as possible during the day. Most of South Holland is involved now. They have a fantastic group in Weston Hills, Weston, Cowbit; in Long Sutton the Men’s Shed have got on board with it, and for people who are retired, it's a great thing to do. We need more people to get involved.
"Some people don't want to do it in their own town or their own village. That is fine, we can ask them to go into another village and that village might come and do their village - and we need more ladies!"
The scheme is managed by Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP) and volunteers are a key part in helping the police to tackle speeding drivers. By feeding back on speeding to the authorities, registered keepers of vehicles exceeding the speed limit will then be sent out letters from the police.
"We need three people to go out," Jan added. "There is a clicker for one person, another holds the speed gun and the other person writes down the information.
“It is literally an hour’s training and to come out and do this is just amazing because you can visually see people are slowing down."
"People come out for an hour, or two hours maximum and you don't have to do it every week. If you do it once a month, it's somebody into that group so that they can get out.
"The police are amazing. If there is one spot of bother, you ring them and they are here like a rocket."
Pinchbeck was one of the first villages to adopt the scheme and they now have two teams of volunteers.
In Enterprise Way, in Pinchbeck, the team explained that they caught 27 people speeding in half an hour during one session.
"In Pinchbeck we have quite a problem with speeding down the rural roads," Terry explained. "There is quite a lot of heavy traffic that takes the rural path, and it is something we want to tackle. We want to look at traffic calming. As the traffic grows we need to be more proactive."
Once the session finishes, the team goes back to the Pinchbeck Community Hub where they check recorded number plates on the DVLA website before sending the information to the authorities. It is here that Terry discovers one of the vehicles they caught speeding had not been recorded as taxed since 2007 and had no MOT.
"We check the registration on the internet, just to make sure we have the right details," he said, "and it is amazing the amount you find without tax or MOT. We can go out most days and find two or three people without tax or MOT, so it's not just about speed. All we do is note that on the information sheet and we send that back to Lincolnshire Police and they'll deal with it."
To find out more about the Community Speed Watch Scheme, or to volunteer, you can contact Jan Whitbourn on: 07779 895388.
More by this authorZoe Myall