Crime & PolicingDriffield News

Kilham campaigners aim to keep drivers’ speed down

Anti-speeding campaigners in Kilham have deemed an initiative set up around two years ago that aims to discourage motorists from exceeding the limit as a success.

A bench dedicated to late resident John Girling and an historic plaque suffered significant damage when a car drove into them on the corner of Church Street and East Street during the early hours of 13th January.

Whilst the incident has not been directly linked to the speed the Citroen C1 was travelling, members of the Kilham Community Speedwatch programme felt it was an opportune moment to highlight the work they have done since 2020.

The group was set up following concerns raised on social media by residents living in the village, which were subsequently taken up by Kilham Parish Council, who got in touch with Humberside Police.

There have been times when people have driven along Driffield Road at 50mph, which is ridiculous

Gerry horner

The force then trained a group of volunteers who work in two teams at speeding hotspots around Kilham using a handheld speed camera and have the authority to report offending motorists to the police.
In the first year, of 4,534 vehicles that were monitored, 325 were caught speeding.

However, in a sign that the presence of the speed-watchers is working, only 306 vehicles were recorded travelling over the limit of the 7,867 that were recorded the following year.

Gerry Horner, who helped to set up the speedwatch group, told the Wolds Weekly that the purpose of the initiative is to ‘educate’ drivers, with any significant punishments left in the hands of the police.

One area of particular worry is Driffield Road, where one motorist was clocked travelling in excess of 50mph near Kilham Primary School.

The bench at Kilham which was damaged in a recent incident.

“The initiative started after complaints were made to the parish council, who decided to get in touch with Humberside Police to see if we could do anything about it,” Gerry told the Wolds Weekly.

“We spoke to the Speedwatch coordinator who organised some training for those who wanted to get involved and volunteer.

“We needed six people to make up two teams of three and we use the guns to measure the speed and record how many cars are exceeding the limit.

“If cars are over the speed limit, we note down their registration number and the colour and make of the car.

“The information is passed onto me and I send it off to the coordinator who puts the details onto the system and sends out a letter to the owner of the vehicle.

“The letter stands for 12 months and, should they get caught speeding again before then, a second letter is issued and if it happens for a third occasion, it’s time for the police to get involved and potentially a fine or points handed out.

“The three main areas of concern are Burton Road, Driffield Road, particularly close to the school, and Southside, as that’s where we find the worst offenders.

“There have been times when people have driven along Driffield Road at 50mph, which is ridiculous, and the highest speed we have ever recorded is 52mph in a 30mph zone.

“However, the numbers are on the way down and our aim is to educate the drivers.

“We’re not there to give punishments out, but we’re happy to speak to them and give advice.

“Most drivers are happy to see us and they often give us a thumbs up or stop for a chat.

“However, there are others that aren’t so friendly, but that’s part and parcel of the job.

“The recent incident, although not confirmed as a speeding incident, further highlights what we are trying to do.”

As well as support from locals, cooperation from the parish council is a key component of the speedwatch effort.

And with Jonathan Evison, who was elected as Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner in 2021, keen to get involved with minimising speeding issues across the area, it’s hoped that the programme will go from strength to strength.

“The complaints started on social media and many of those were then directed to the parish council,” said Bryan Woodward, another member of Kilham Community Speedwatch.

“The parish council wanted to support the Speedwatch initiative and continues to do so.

“It’s an item on the agenda every month at meetings and that’s when Gerry gives an update, whilst we also publish a piece in the village newsletter every two months.

“Initially, we were seen as do-gooder busybodies who were trying to spoil things and were even accused of jumping from behind bushes to catch people.

“But people thank us for what we are doing now and let us know about other areas of the village where there are speeding issues.

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to cover them all due to health and safety restrictions.

“The headteacher at Kilham Primary School is very supportive of what we are doing and Jonathan Evison, the new Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner, mentions tackling speeding issues in his manifesto.

“Two new officers have been appointed whose main focus is on speeding and that can only be a good thing.”

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