THE Holsworthy Neighbourhood Police team held a speed enforcement and drink drive awareness day at Halwill Junction on Monday, June 26, with the help of local primary school pupils.
On the day PCSOs Emma Tomkies, Mark James and Raquel Rowe were joined by Teresa Ashley and Scott Anderson from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Team and four pupils from Halwill Primary School.
Teresa and Scott brought along the fire service’s T5 Driver education vehicle and the pupils were able to get hands on during a speed watch, speaking to drivers and issuing warnings.
PCSO Tomkies said: “As the PCSO for the area, I have had reports from concerned residents of speeding or distracted drivers in the 30mph zone in Halwill Junction. Due to this, I decided to set up a speed enforcement day to monitor traffic during school drop off and pick up times, as well as checking some commuter traffic.”
PSCO Tomkies said they set up two speed monitoring sites at each end of the village, with a mixture of police officers and community speedwatch volunteers at each station checking vehicle speeds throughout the day.
The neighbourhood police team worked with the fire service advocates to issue eight tickets to drivers traveling 40mph and over, to offer education for drivers travelling 39mph and under and for those over 30 years of age.
As June is Devon and Cornwall Police ‘drink drive awareness week’, the team and volunteers encouraged those who were stopped to give a sample of breath so officers could ensure they were not over the limit.
PCSO Tomkies said: “This encourages them to think before they drink, and consider how long it will be before they get behind the wheel. It also helps officers drive down fatal and serious road traffic collisions, and protect other road users.”
On the day Year 6 pupils from Halwill Primary School ably assisted the team. The pupils spoke to drivers who had been caught speeding and asked them questions like ‘Why were you speeding?’ and ‘How would you feel if you hit me or one of my friends?’
PCSO Tomkies said this exercise really drove home the fact that children regularly use the pavements adjacent to the road in Halwill Junction.
“Drivers stopping distances are massively increased when travelling over the speed limit. All too often officers have to deal with the results of drivers speeding, which can be devastating, with families and friends being left behind to pick up their lives after the event.
“Speed limits are in place for a reason — the limit is set at the maximum safe speed to travel on a particular stretch of road. Drivers shouldn’t use these limits as targets; there are always other factors to consider including other road users, levels of traffic and weather conditions.”
She added: “The faster you are travelling, the les time you have to react to the unexpected. So please, do not speed on our roads, drive carefully and be aware of your surroundings.”
Thanks were extended to Halwill Parish Council for allowing the team to use their facilities during the speedwatch event and to Halwill Primary School’s pupils for their help on the day.