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Dorset Police make a special road safety visit

27 June 2016
On Thursday 23 June, Dorset Police’s ‘No Excuse’ team accompanied by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Martyn Underhill visited nine year old Scarlet Fontana at her home in Corfe Castle, following a speed complaint.

Dorset Police’s Road Safety Camera Van team recently received a hand written letter from Scarlet, aged ‘nine and three quarters’, in which she detailed her experience of motorists disobeying the 30 miles per hour speed limit outside her home.

Scarlet wrote: “The majority of drivers speed past my bedroom window extremely fast. I think it is just luck nobody has been killed on this road before.

“In October 2015, a horrible crash happened outside my bedroom window at night after a speeding car hit a parked car. There were ambulances and police outside my house and I sat in my bedroom and prayed everyone would be ok and not die.”

As a result of Scarlet’s letter, Dorset Police’s dedicated, proactive road safety enforcement team and the PCC visited the Fontana family home. Sergeant Stu Pitman, who leads the ‘No Excuse’ team and PCC Martyn Underhill provided vital road safety advice.

Luminous ‘No Excuse’ road safety backpacks and assorted merchandise were given to the four Fontana children, who welcomed the opportunity to ask road safety questions and play in the marked ‘No Excuse’ police vehicle.

Scarlet’s letter will have a lasting impact in her local area. With the encouragement of ‘No Excuse’ and the PCC, Simone Montana, Scarlet’s mother, plans to set up a Community Speed Watch (CSW) team with neighbours. Dorset Police welcome this endeavour and will fully support “Scarlet’s Speed Watch” in its efforts to make Dorset’s roads safer.
Sergeant Stu Pitman, from the ‘No Excuse’ team, said: “The team is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, enforcing road safety standards across Dorset. ‘No Excuse’ patrols Corfe Castle on a regular basis and will continue to be vigilant in the area.

“On the day of the visit to the Fontana family home, we conducted stop checks which acted as a powerful deterrent, with one offender being caught.”

Dorset Police’s Road Safety Operations Manager, Brian Austin, said: “Whilst we receive many letters from the public highlighting areas of road safety concern, it is very rare that we receive letters from young children of ‘nine and three quarters’.

“We commend Scarlet for her maturity in writing to us in regards to an issue that Dorset Police takes extremely seriously.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “It is great to see Scarlet taking an active interest in road safety issues at such a young age. During 2015, a person died on a Dorset road every two weeks so it is vital we make road policing a priority. We have stepped up patrols in the area and encouraged residents to set up a CSW, to be the eyes and ears on the ground to report back on poor driving behaviour.”

To stay up to date with the ‘No Excuse’ team, follow them on Twitter and Facebook @DorsetPoliceNoExcuse. If you have any road safety concerns, please email dorsetroadsafe@dorset.pnn.police.uk with the details.

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