New police device used to target Topsham drivers

SOPHISTICATED police equipment will be used to check the speed of motorists in Topsham. Percy Giles, police community support officer for the town, will use a piece of equipment known as SID, a non-enforceable advisory machine which has a large monitor to

SOPHISTICATED police equipment will be used to check the speed of motorists in Topsham.

Percy Giles, police community support officer for the town, will use a piece of equipment known as SID, a non-enforceable advisory machine which has a large monitor to indicate drivers' speeds as they approach.

The device will be used a number of times each month to ease residents' fears over motorists who drive fast in the town.

Percy said: "Speeding is a top priority at the moment in Topsham particularly because of plans to introduce a 20mph limit in the town.


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"It is an education device - educating motorists to slow down.

"People are very concerned. I'm always asked about the 20mph measures like when it's going to be brought in or even the other side of the argument that it will be a total waste of time.

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"When I do use the equipment, a lot of residents thank me for using it and taking the time to work in their area. Others ask if I can also use the machine in their neighbourhood.

"What this is good at is it doesn't matter what speed you're going, it will slow you down.

"I have had people crawl by at 10mph looking very worried they are doing something wrong.

There's something about having a light flashing at you."

More than 100 people flocked to Matthews Hall last August to attend a public consultation about plans to introduce a 20mph speed reduction scheme in the town.

Officers from Devon County Council and Councillor Andrew Leadbetter were present to listen to opinions raised by members of the public and answer their questions.

The move aims to reduce vehicle speeds, improve road safety particularly for pedestrians and cyclists, and to prevent some streets being used as rat runs.

Cllr Leadbetter said: "I am keen to look at ways of making the streets safer.

"Speeding in all parts of Exeter is a problem - this is mirrored in Topsham with its narrow roads. This sort of scheme has been on the cards for eight years or more."

The 20mph proposals have been passed to the Highways and Traffic Order Committee for a final decision.

If approved, the design will be finalised; orders sealed by the county solicitor and the new limit introduced.

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