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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:39 
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:gatso2: From MSN - Bentley driver reports Community Speed Watch volunteers to police. ... cid=TSHDHP

Bentley driver who was caught breaking 20mph limit by anti-speeding volunteers reports THEM to police for breaking the law

Tom Burrows

22 hrs ago

Bentley driver caught speeding by a group of community volunteers reported them to police after claiming they were the ones breaking the law.

Jason Higgins, 44, admitted he was breaking the speed limit when he was spotted by the Bathampton Community Speedwatch group - but went back to confront them.

After speaking to the volunteers, he reported them to police, accusing them of acting outside the law by sitting in their vehicle.

Speedwatch volunteers use a hand held 'pocket radar' kit provided by police, which is about the size of an iPhone and provides an instant digital readout from 600 to 700 yards.

Under scheme rules they must wear hi-viz jackets and not sit in cars while on duty.

Mr Higgins, from Bathampton in north east Somerset, admitted he was driving at 24mph in a 20mph zone when he was caught by the volunteers on Bathampton Lane.

He said: 'I am all for speed awareness and people doing their bit to stop accidents, but I have been misrepresented by them.

'I was driving down the lane as my children go to the school there and the Speedwatch volunteers were sat in a vehicle at the end of the driveway.

'At first I stopped as I thought the car was pulling out and then I noticed the black device. I drove back to ask them what they were doing and whether they had permission.

'I explained that instead of stopping an accident they could have caused one as they were at the end of the drive and holding a black object, which could cause someone to stop suddenly.

'Later on, I spoke to the police and the officers involved with the group and he said they were not working in accordance with the law by being in their vehicle and he would have a word.'

Mr Higgins claimed the community volunteers could have caused an accident as they were holding a 'black object' that could have caused a driver to stop suddenly

In guidance issued to Community Speedwatch groups by Avon and Somerset Constabulary, volunteers are told fluorescent jackets must be worn at all times and they should be 'fully visible to drivers of vehicles'.

The 44-year-old added: 'The limit is 20mph and I think I was doing about 24mph at the time - but I don't know why it is 20mph as you can walk faster than that.

'I did not argue with them, all I did was say that they were causing the problem rather than solving it and they were not doing it the right way as I couldn't see their high visibility jackets.'

What is Community Speedwatch?

Community Speedwatch is a national initiative where members of local communities join with the support of the police to monitor speeds of vehicles using a 'pocket radar' kit.

One operator makes a voice recording of the registration number, speed, make, colour and the direction of speeding vehicles and the other operator keeps a written record.

Vehicles exceeding the speed limit are referred to the police with the aim of educating drivers to reduce their speeds.

Further action will be taken by the police against persistent and high-end speed offenders as well as targeting individual locations.

Volunteers receive appropriate training, and are supported by neighbourhood policing team staff.

However Barry Southern, a Speedwatch volunteer, insisted the volunteers were wearing high visibility jackets and had not used a car since.

He said: 'We were in a vehicle and we were wearing High-Vis so were not exactly invisible.

'The guy went past us at 30mph and later came back to ask us what we were doing as we had pointed something at him.

'We explained what we were doing and we were told later he had contacted Avon and Somerset Constabulary. All speed checks since have not used a vehicle.'

Fellow volunteer Kelvin Brunton added: 'It's silly that people don't pay attention to the speed limit, especially along roads which have obstacles, people coming out of their driveways and children in the area.'

Bathampton Community Speedwatch was set up a year ago to highlight the danger caused by drivers speeding in the village.

Vehicles observed speeding will be sent a warning letter from Avon and Somerset police, along with advice to help change their driving behaviour.

Further action will be taken by the police against persistent and high-end speed offenders as well as targeting individual locations.

Anyone who tells you that nothing is impossible has never bathed in a saucer of water.

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