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Slow down! We've got our eye on you...

PUBLISHED: 15:22 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:25 06 July 2010

VOLUNTEERS from villages north of Lowestoft have joined forces to cut the speed of drivers using the area's rural roads.

Waveney's first community speed watch scheme was launched on Tuesday and volunteers are already trained and ready to start recording the speeds of motorists driving through Blundeston, Flixton, Corton, Lound, Oulton and Somerleyton.

VOLUNTEERS from villages north of Lowestoft have joined forces to cut the speed of drivers using the area's rural roads.

Waveney's first community speed watch scheme was launched on Tuesday and volunteers are already trained and ready to start recording the speeds of motorists driving through Blundeston, Flixton, Corton, Lound, Oulton and Somerleyton.

Armed with high visibility jackets, speed watch signs and a hand-held radar gun, the villagers will monitor the speed of passing motorists and record the details of speeding cars.

The information is then passed on to the police so that letters can be sent to the drivers. If more than two letters are sent, police officers can visit the drivers to speak to them about speed awareness.

Brian Shelton, one of the volunteers, said that the village roads were always busy and some drivers did not obey the 30mph limits near houses and schools.

He said: “I've already seen when we've been out on our pilot tests that people slow down as soon as they see us in our bright jackets, so just the visibility of the patrol works to make people observe the speed limit.

“It's about re-educating drivers and reminding them that speed limits are there for a reason.”

He said that the scheme had been well-received in the villages.

“I've seen several of my neighbours while I've been on patrol and they usually give a thumbs up or a little wave. We're not here to catch people, we're trying to make the village safer,” he added.

Ten people are involved in the north Lowestoft speed watch scheme and they can now run speed checks in pairs along their villages' roads whenever they wish.

Speed watch coordinator Louis Smith said: “The fact that most drivers slow down when they see volunteers at the roadside is a positive outcome. We hope that drivers will become used to seeing speed checking taking place in our villages, and will get into the habit of respecting the speed limits.”

Police community support officer Sue Kershaw, who has been working with the villagers, said: “It has been a lot of hard work over the past year to establish the scheme, but I'm very grateful to the county councillors, volunteers and all those who have helped to get it up and running.”

The equipment was funded from the locality budgets of Suffolk County Councillors Colin Law and Mike Barnard.

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