Wednesday 12 June 2024
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Residents help with speeding initiative after increase in cat deaths

Residents who took road safety into their own hands after becoming concerned about cat deaths are urging people to slow down and save lives.

A group of people in Sutton-on-Trent formed a neighbourhood speed watch group after witnessing drivers hurtling along local roads and fearing it could lead to casualties, especially after seeing a number of animals being knocked down and left by the roadside.

The village has a local primary school which lots of parents walk to and from with their children and they have now started heading out with speed guns in a bid to prevent any tragedies in their neighbourhood.

PCSO Richard Dunn
PCSO Richard Dunn

The area is also popular for dog walkers who regularly witness speeding motorists and at there’s a speed flash sign on the Old Great North Road which is often said to highlight speeds way above the limit.

There is a particular area on the Old Great North Road where a 40 zone turns to a 50 at the brow of a hill with Eaves Lane at the bottom of it regularly used by pedestrians. The other main areas  for speeding are said to be on the Old Great North Road where there’s a long stretch of 40mph and Grassthorpe Road where motorists seem to disregard a 30mph entry sign.

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Speaking at the start of Global Road Safety Week today, resident Sarah Pike said: “When you’re walking down the road you can feel really vulnerable and aware of speeding traffic. Lots of residents complain of speeding issues in various parts of the village mainly by lorries but also other motorists.

“It’s really common for cats to be run over which is clearly distressing for owners and you always see lots of roadkill at the side of the roads. Thankfully there haven’t been any serious collisions but you do sometimes feel that it’s only a matter of time.

“If everyone slowed down and were more aware of their surroundings then this wouldn’t happen and it would be a nicer place to be.”

Sarah, 43, runs a tree nursery in the village with her husband and is the owner of two dogs and three cats. Her concerns led to her teaming up with six other residents to form a neighbourhood speed watch group who have just completed their fifth check.

Supported by the Ollerton policing team, at least three of the group get together every Friday. One of them uses the speed gun, another shouts out vehicle details and checks number plates and the third person writes down the details.

The group record anything three miles per hour over the speed limit and send the data into the local neighbourhood team. Any drivers who’ve gone seven miles per hour over then get a letter from Nottinghamshire Police. If they get three of these warnings, then they get a visit from an officer.

“Interestingly, local people seem to be the main offenders for speeding and we can understand why people might think negatively about what we’re doing. But we’re not there to catch people, we’re there to remind people that speed limits are there for a reason and to slow down,” Sarah added.

This week is Global Road Safety Week which is all about speed in our neighbourhoods and driving at appropriate speeds for built up areas – taking into account differing environments which include children outside schools, pets in residential areas, shopping locations and events.

Nottinghamshire Police will be staging operations across the county which will include speed checks, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) checks, stop-checking vehicle’s for road safety, checking for seatbelts and mobile phone use alongside educating drivers about speeding and general road safety.

A total of 31 people have been killed on Nottinghamshire’s roads as a result of speeding motorists in the last four years to December 2020. Six of these incidents happened last year (December 2019 – December 2020).

The United Nations Global Road Safety event draws on the statistic that someone is killed in a road traffic crash every 24 seconds. The aim is to encourage people to demand speed limits in areas where people walk, live and play.

Clare Gibson, head of Nottinghamshire’s road policing unit, said: “This week is all about coming together with our local communities to support any issues they might be having with speeding in their area and just generally encouraging people to slow down.

“Speed limits are there for a reason and it’s well known that the faster motorists drive, the longer their stopping distance will be.”

“We need to think about others, including people who live in the areas we drive in – children, cyclists and  other road users who are really vulnerable and who will be completely powerless if they get struck by a vehicle. This is something we’ve experienced too many times in Nottinghamshire and which can be completely prevented by adhering to the speed limits.”

“There are speed cameras and other measures across the county which are implemented in hot-spot road traffic collision areas and they regularly catch people out. Drivers also need to be warned that we will be pursuing prosecutions wherever necessary.”

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