Morpeth speeders may be caught in flash


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Published Date: 12 May 2009
MORPETH Police to slow down speeding drivers as quick as a flash in a new operation.

Community Support Officers (CSOs) are setting up a speed indicator sign, which is attached to the top of a Police car, in various Sector locations where complaints have been made such as Hepscott, Hadston, Red Row and Longhirst.

The device emits a beam covering about 100 yards and it flashes the exact speed in miles per hour that a motorist is travelling.

If anyone is going too fast through or past a village, officers will direct the vehicle to stop.

They will talk to drivers about why they should drive slower and safely and hand out a road respect leaflet, which is funded by the fines people pay for speeding, as they do not have the power to issue penalty notices.

CSO Steve Wardle said: "We get a mixture of reactions when we stop people.

"Some say they were not sure what the speed limit was on some rural roads, for example when it goes from the national speed limit of 60mph to 40mph for a short stretch, and others admit they were pushing a bit too fast.

"It's a very positive device and people appreciate getting the advice instead of a penalty straightaway, while local residents have thanked us for promoting the safety aspect and having a presence in their village to make some drivers think again when travelling through.

"It can't be used everywhere, but we use it in areas where we think it's appropriate to provide a safety message, which also includes the area around schools."

But drivers should not think they will only be warned for speeding during this period, as the operation also involves Police officers going across the Sector using hand-held laser speed meters to record motorists' speed.

The laser is able to track cars for 600m plus and those caught speeding will be given a penalty.

P.C. Andy Ward said: "It is important to give out warnings about speeding when appropriate but we also need to enforce the law.

"Speed limits are there for a reason, which is to protect the safety of people, and the aim with both these devices is to reinforce this message and get those who are speeding to slow down."

The operation will continue for the next few weeks.

Morpeth Sector Inspector Jackie Coleman said: "Speeding through their village is one of the bugbears that some residents in our area have and we hope people stopped by the CSOs in this operation will not go as fast in those places again.

"Anyone are aiming caught speeding by Police officers will be dealt with robustly."