Attention motorists! Speed Watch project launched in borough

Councillor Paul Dunlop and Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth launching the new Community Speed Watch programme.
Councillor Paul Dunlop and Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth launching the new Community Speed Watch programme.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership has launched a new Community Speed Watch Project in the borough.

The project will involve the installation of 12 Speed Indicator Devices in Ballyeaston, Ballynure, Burnside, Ballyrobert, Creggan, Doagh, Killead, Parkgate, Groggan, Straid, Toomebridge and Templepatrick in response to road safety being identified across all village development plans as an issue of high concern.

Following extensive public consultation, road safety was identified as one of the top three issues of concern in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership’s 2018/19 Action Plan.

These signs are primarily an awareness raising tool to make motorists aware of their speed, advising them to slow down to prevent death and serious injury on our roads.

Speed Indicator Devices (SIDs) are temporary vehicle activated signs which detect and display real-time vehicle speeds in an attempt to change drivers’ speed behaviour. They also store data on all approaching vehicles irrespective of speed, which includes the number of vehicles detected, the average speeds of the vehicles, the number of speed violations and the speed reductions being achieved by the signs. However, they do not record any vehicle registration details or other information that could be used to enforce a speeding conviction. They are used most effectively in areas where the speed limit is restricted, as a reminder to drivers that they need to slow down.

The project was recently launched in partnership with Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI); Department for Infrastructure (DfI); Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and local village communities. It received funding from the Rural Development Programme (RDP) through Generating Rural Opportunities Within (GROW) South Antrim.

Speaking about the initiative, Councillor Paul Dunlop, Chairman of the PCSP, said: “Road safety has been identified by the PCSP as one of its key priorities and the signs have been installed in response to this issue. Speeding is one of the main causation factors of death and serious injury on our roads and motorists need to be aware of the devastating consequences of road traffic collisions. I am aware of the concerns of the community in the areas where these signs have been erected and I hope that they will have a positive impact in reducing speed and changing behaviours of those who use our roads. I am delighted and grateful for the commitment we have seen from local village communities, this is a real positive example of a local solution to an issue being delivered by local people.

“In the longer term, the data which is collected from the devices will hopefully be used to inform those responsible for road safety, including the police and other government departments, on the level of speed violations and the times of day when speeding is most likely to occur. This will enable those responsible for road safety to effectively plan road safety initiatives where most needed, aiding effective allocation of resources.

Chief Inspector David Moore said: “PSNI are keen to work with the PCSP and the community to help reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. Excess speed continues to be one of the main causation factors for road traffic collisions so I would see the introduction of Speed Indicator Devices as a welcome initiative to aid our strategy work in helping to educate motorists and reduce that risk.”