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Local community supported by 'no excuse' campaign

A rural community has worked closely with Dorset Road Safe in a bid to tackle inappropriate speed and other driving issues.

On Wednesday 23 January 2013, the ‘no excuse’ team were in Winterborne Whitechurch, near Blandford Forum to educate motorists and tackle the community’s longstanding concern of speed in the village.

Traffic officers and the community speed van targeted drivers on the 10 mile stretch of the A354, which passes through the village between the A35 Puddletown bypass and Blandford.

Many motorists who were exceeding the speed limit, committing other traffic offences, such as driving with no MOT, driving while using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt, or driving with snow covered windscreens were stopped and spoken to by the officers. 

Members of the community and children from the local primary school came to the Village Hall throughout the day where they could test out various road safety education tools – including a reaction tester – and get information to help them stay safe on the roads.

In the village, a ‘no excuse’ sign highlighted the number of motorists that were detected exceeding the speed limit in the village during 2012.

This sign will remain in the village. It will be updated by the Parish Council to show the number of speeding offences detected.

A speed data line has been set up along the route in and out of the village to collect vehicle speed data.

‘no excuse’ Project manager, Brian Austin said: “Having the full support of a small rural community is an important element of our road safety activity.

“We will continue to work together with our communities to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Dorset’s roads.”

Deputy leader and cabinet member for community service at Dorset County Council, Hilary Cox, said: “I am very pleased that the ‘no excuse’ team were able to come to a village in my division and tackle the longstanding issue of speed.

“I am confident that this event has raised awareness of the problem in the area.”

A spokesperson on behalf of the Parish Council said: “There was a real concern for the safety of people in the village due to the speed of vehicles.

“We approached Dorset Road Safe to help us tackle this issue and we feel honoured to be the first village to receive this event.

“Our thanks go to Brian Austin and his team for taking our concerns on board and bringing this event to our community.”

Dorset County Council Road Safety Manager, Rob Smith, said: “It is really encouraging to see so many of the villagers turn out to support this event.

“Just remember – if you don't want people speeding through your community then make sure you don't speed yourself.”