Norfolk to get DIY speed cameras

23 March 2007 09:18

Speeding drivers are being targeted by a new weapon in the bid to make roads safer - the public.

Volunteers are being sought to man do-it-yourself speed traps for a trial scheme in Hopton, near Yarmouth, with a view to rolling out the plan to more than 12 other area's across the county.

Under the plan, villagers will be out with hand-held radar guns to clock the speed of motorists heading through the coastal village, with a brief to record the car's registration number and the sex of the driver.

Speeding motorists will then be sent a warning letter by police although they will not face prosecution.

Twenty of the DIY radar kits have been bought by Norfolk father and son businessmen Ian and Matt Doughty to be loaned out to villages in the eastern area of Norfolk, which covers a vast area from Yarmouth to Wells along the coast and takes in communities as far inland as Wroxham, Fakenham and villages on the outskirts of Norwich.

Volunteers, who will wear high-visibility jackets, will be selected and briefed on using the speed gun as well as other issues, such as health and safety and defusing possible confrontational situations. Signs will be displayed clearly indicating a speed watch is taking place.

Hopton Parish Council had been pushing for the scheme for months because of concerns over speeding, especially outside the primary school, and council chairman Mike Butcher said last night: “I am over the moon. I will be one of the first ones raising my hand to be trained.”

Acle traffic sergeant Andy Hood, who has been working on the details of the scheme for Norfolk, said: “If a driver is clocked exceeding the speed limit beyond police guidelines, the volunteers will record the vehicle's registration number and whether it is a male or female driving.

“The information will be fed back to the local police safer neighbourhood team and collated on the computer. The driver will then be sent a warning letter asking them not to drive fast through the village.

“If the same driver is caught twice, he or she will be sent a second letter warning they could be targeted by the road police team.”