Coltishall News on Road Safety Information and Campaigns

Caring About Rural Speeds (CARS)

Village speed campaign  launched by Norfolk County Council

A new approach to speed reduction on village streets was launched today (Thursday 23April) as part of Norfolk County Council's rural road safety project in north-east Norfolk.

Caring About Rural Speeds (CARS) encourages community involvement in lowering the speed of traffic through villages, and aims to foster individual commitment to driving with more consideration. The initiative was launched by the Chairman of Norfolk County Council, Wyndham Northam, at Stalham Junior School*.

"The campaign recognises that the car is essential for many people living in rural communities, yet it is speeding traffic that undermines the quality of life they value in their villages," said Adrian Gunson, Cabinet Member for Planning & Transportation.

"Speed limits, backed up by occasional enforcement, are the traditional methods used to slow down traffic - yet many local drivers still drive too fast, even though, as residents, they want traffic to go more slowly through their own villages. We hope that the CARS campaign will, by involving communities in a range of speed reduction activities, lead to more drivers accepting their own responsibility in reducing speeds.

"The campaign hopes to have a lasting effect on local drivers, fostering a more considerate style of driving that drivers, pedestrians and cyclists would all find acceptable. In addition, of course, more considerate driving in villages may reduce the problem of damage to verges, which concerns many rural dwellers, and give wildlife more of a chance - particularly in the spring and early summer during the breeding season."

CARS encourages and supports active community involvement while at the same time developing people's understanding of the part they can play as drivers in reducing speeds in villages. Persuasion and education will be the key, backed up by police enforcement to catch determinedly anti-social drivers. The campaign is taking place in the Rural Road Safety Demonstration Area in north-east Norfolk where the County Council is piloting new rural road safety initiatives on behalf of the Department for Transport.

CARS will involve:

* Enhanced work in local schools to raise children's awareness of speed issues.

* Frequent visits (every six to ten weeks) by a dedicated Speed Awareness Message (SAM) vehicle run by the Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership

* Partnership working with parish councils to distribute 'CARS' publicity materials, including;

* Car stickers and posters declaring a driver's commitment to slowing down through their own and neighbouring communities.

* Wheelie bin 'SLOW DOWN' stickers.

* Posters for village noticeboards and street furniture.

* Recruitment of new Community Speedwatch volunteers by Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

* Enhanced village nameplates carrying the message 'A Community Speedwatch Village'

* Closer liaison between village representatives and the Police on speed limit enforcement and the use of the police mobile speed camera.