Mid Sussex Police monitor rural roads to crack down on speeding
Police in Mid Sussex are cracking down on speeding from today (June 1) with the #MidSussexSummerSlowDown speed awareness campaign.
Mid Sussex Neighbourhood Policing Inspector Darren Taylor said the campaign aims to prevent antisocial driving in hotspots across the district.
The four-month project, which was a success last year, will run from June 1 until the end of September.
Inspector Taylor, 48, started working for Mid Sussex Police in May last year and saw how traffic increased as the government began to lift lockdown restrictions.
“The biggest feedback I was getting from local residents and councillors, as well as the local MP, was about speeding,” he said.
Residents in rural villages were especially concerned about speeding drivers and wanted something done about them, he added.
So Inspector Taylor decided to run #MidSussexSummerSlowDown.
Police collated areas that had been flagged up into a chart and then, working with speed awareness partners and traffic colleagues, selected a few locations to target every day with speed camera guns.
“In a nutshell, what we’re emphasising to people is that there’s no need to speed,” said Inspector Taylor.
“And if you do speed or drive in an antisocial way, like using your mobile phone, then there’s a good possibility you could be stopped.”
Inspector Taylor said police have an extensive list of areas to look at and they use statistics to decide on the top 20 each month.
He said the ‘classic ones’ include the A22 going through East Grinstead and boy racers speeding through Burgess Hill in the evenings.
Police will target the main road too, he added, but said the key aim of #MidSussexSummerSlowDown was to make drivers reduce their speed in rural communities.
“It’s those villages where people haven’t got pavements, for example, and have to walk in the road.”
Inspector Taylor also said there was a problem with inconsiderate drivers using deliberately loud exhausts.
“We’ve all heard them and I think it’s unacceptable,” he said, adding that it is not fair to wake people up late at night when they have work the next day.
“It’s antisocial behaviour in my eyes and it’s something we can deal with,” he said. Inspector Taylor said that sometimes all speeding motorists need is a talk by the side of the road if they are caught, but their vehicle details are always recorded.
“If you have repeat offenders that come up on our system, then the outcome next time could be different, as in sanctions,” he said.
Police can also issue drivers with a ‘section 59’ warning for antisocial behaviour and, if they commit another offence, they could have their vehicle seized.
There are more serious punishments for speeding way over the limit like being issued a ticket or being reported to court.
Inspector Taylor said that last year’s campaign was a success but that it had both positive and negative elements.
“What wasn’t positive was having people being stopped for speeding and having to giving fines out,” he said.
“That’s negative as it just goes to show that people are still speeding and people are still flouting the law.”
But Inspector Taylor said the positive side of the campaign was the feedback police received from people in Mid Sussex via residents groups, parish council meetings and comments on social media.
“Residents love the campaign,” he said.
“It’s actually the residents that have been asking for it again constantly throughout the winter months and moving into the summer.”
Inspector Taylor said his message to drivers going out on the roads this summer is simple. “Enjoy the weather, enjoy driving, but just be considerate,” he said, adding that Mid Sussex is a fantastic place to live.
“It is rural in some parts so please be mindful when moving through villages and don’t speed – full stop.”