Residents take road safety into their own hands

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A NEW SpeedAware scheme from the county council helps Warwickshire communities to make their roads safer with a simple smile.

The scheme invites residents to become Community SpeedAware volunteers and help promote safer speeds in their local area using an innovative flashing slow down sign called a Smiley SID (speed indicating device).

The battery powered sign can be temporarily erected on any road with speed limits of 20, 30 or 40 mph. It monitors variable speed and displays a sad face if the speed limit is exceeded or a happy face if the limit is adhered to.

As an extra deterrent to speeding motorists and to keep a close eye on the speed of traffic, volunteers stay with the sign whilst it’s in operation for short periods of time.

Warwickshire County Council’s Road Safety Team developed the project which is free to join for Neighbourhood Watch Groups, Resident Associations, Parish/Town Councils or any organised groups of 2 or more people.

SpeedAware volunteers take loan of the equipment for two weeks at a time. They are trained in using the sign by a road safety officer who also advises them of the best place to position the device during speed tests.

Road Safety Officer, Chris Fossey, runs the scheme. He said: “We receive so many complaints about traffic speed so we thought we’d help local people to help themselves.

“We’ve already trialled the Smiley SID with success amongst some Parish Councils and are now opening it up to small groups across the county.”

Warwickshire County Councillor Richard Hobbs, Portfolio Holder for Community Protection added: “We have had to make many difficult decisions this year which has meant rethinking the way we deliver some local schemes – Smiley SID is a great example of a low cost scheme which involves local members of the community in keeping themselves and their neighbours safe.”

The scheme is a part of a number of activities currently being offered in Warwickshire to combat speeding traffic.

Resident’s may also be interested in obtaining free wheelie bin stickers with the message ‘Slow Down in our Community’.

For further information about the scheme or community road based road safety work, please contact the County Council’s Road Safety Liaison Officer on 01926 418612 chrisfossey@warwickshire.gov.uk.