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Police do not look at speeding driver data from flashing signs

Barry Fiske, chairman of Wroxham Parish Council with the SAM2 sign. Pic: Wroxham Parish Council.

Barry Fiske, chairman of Wroxham Parish Council with the SAM2 sign. Pic: Wroxham Parish Council.

Wroxham Parish Council

Police have revealed they do not look at data about speeding through Norfolk’s town and villages, despite councils splashing out thousands of pounds on flashing signs that warn drivers.

Over the past two years, Norfolk County Council and parish councils have spent thousands on more than 100 Speed Awareness Message (SAM2) signs, which activate and flash when drivers go over the limit.

While details of the vehicles and drivers are not captured, some devices do record information about the number of times the signs are activated, along with the time. Data about traffic volumes is also recorded.

Wroxham Parish Council was among those which have been sending information to Norfolk Police, but received an email back saying the data could not be passed to the police road traffic unit or the safety camera team.

The police told the council SAMs were “an educational tool for motorists to slow them down”.

But Barry Fiske, chairman of Wroxham Parish Council, said: “This is a colossal missed opportunity. Parish councils around the county have a huge amount of data on speeding in their communities which should be of considerable help to Norfolk police in assessing road policing priorities.

“It would appear that any parish council bothering to share their data with Norfolk police is wasting its time.”

Jo Martin, clerk to Feltwell Parish Council, said her council had also been told the police had nobody to interpret the data, although she said their sign was still useful in slowing drivers.

Aylsham Town Council clerk Sue Lake said the council used data from its sign to highlight particular concerns to police.

The police said so many parishes had the devices that police and the safety camera team had “no capacity” to look at the data.

They added that units were not calibrated regularly, so could only give a guide to speed and that the safety camera team only respond to data from their own cameras.

A Norfolk police spokesman confirmed they did not have the capacity to look through all the data provided by parish councils.

But she said police were keen to work with parish and town councils which, based on their own reading of their data, flagged up patterns and concerns, to see if police action could be taken.

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