Bruton Town Council is very pleased to have taken possession of its own SID, or Speed Indicator Device. This is a portable contraption that flashes up a vehicle’s speed if the driver is going too fast. You’ve probably seen them as you travel around, (especially if you’ve been driving quicker than you should be!) but in the past they’ve been infrequent visitors to Bruton. Having one of our own means we can move the SID to any one of eight different locations on a regular basis, principally in Bruton but at a couple of spots in Pitcombe as well.
The places where the SID will be placed have been carefully selected to try to improve driving patterns in Bruton’s speeding hotspots. It will be moved every fortnight or so, and records data as well as flashing warning messages to those exceeding the speed limit. The data can help the police target their traffic patrols more precisely.
Speeding has long been a plague and a danger to Bruton’s residents and is the cause of a huge number of complaints to the Council. Most people who walk along our streets will have several horror stories to tell about inconsiderate and downright dangerous driving. The SID is part of the council’s efforts to change driving habits in and around town, and will shortly be followed by a SPEEDWATCH initiative, the introduction of a 20mph zone within central Bruton, and the traffic calming scheme in Cole Road. We’re hopeful that a LORRYWATCH project can also have a part to play in the future. This is not an attempt to introduce draconian measures to stamp down on speeding motorists: rather it’s asking drivers to moderate their speed and think of the residents, instead of just charging as fast as they can from one end of town to the other. The tragic death of David Hick last year brought home just how deadly speeding can be. Pedestrians, cyclists and those who live in the town have a right to be protected from those who drive without consideration for others.
We are indebted to Steve Turner for taking on responsibility for looking after our SID, and for Steve and Pat Turner for agreeing to run Speedwatch. It’s no exaggeration to say we’ve been looking for years for someone to fill these roles! Steve, in conjunction with Tim Russell, our PCSO, has applied for training for the dozen or so Speedwatch volunteers that we have on our list already, but more are needed! If you have the occasional hour or two to spare, and you’d like to be part of the Speedwatch team to help in a really positive way to rid Bruton’s streets of dangerous driving, please add your name by contacting Kathy McCarthy at the Community Office, 26 High Street, on 01749 813 014, or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re proud that Bruton is the first town in Somerset to have charge of its own SID, and very keen that this experiment will be a success. The message is: if you drive through Bruton, please drive with awareness and consideration. Mike Brownlow, Bruton Council Transport Committee