DCSIMG

‘We need drivers to keep their speed down to avoid accidents’

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  • by Jeff Travis
 

A stream of cars hurtles along one of the busiest sections of the A3.

Some drivers are clearly in a rush and are putting their foot to the floor.

But what many will not know is they are being watched.

I join Melanie Dunford, who works for Hampshire Constabulary, as she took three hours of rolling footage next to Butser Hill.

She has parked her van in a bus layby and is manning a large specialised video camera which takes detailed film of all the action – and specifically speeding.

Her work is part of a Europe-wide crackdown on speeding this week which Hampshire Constabulary is supporting.

During her morning stint, Melanie recorded more than 50 drivers breaking the speed limit, with some going over 90mph. Many of the culprits are van and lorry drivers, who are going well beyond their 50mph or 60mph limit, depending on the weight of the vehicle.

Five drivers today have been caught on camera not wearing a seatbelt.

Melanie, who is based at Bishop’s Waltham, says: ‘It all goes on to a DVD then the DVD goes into the back office.

‘It records on the DVD as a moving image and then the back office will take a photo. If there’s any dispute about who is driving, we have got the photograph. We can move the camera around so it follows the vehicle.’

Melanie says more speeders are caught during the morning commute as they rush to get to work.

Once the footage has been analysed, registration numbers of speeding vehicles will be typed into the police national computer to get addresses. Speeders can expect to get a letter in the post – with penalties ranging from the offer of attending a speed awareness course to a court order – within the next 14 days.

Melanie says she is used to hand gestures and abuse from motorists as they go past her van. But she says her job is worthwhile.

‘We need people to keep speeds down to avoid accidents,’ she says.

‘We are here to help try and reduce casualties. I feel this will make a difference.’

 

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