Police catch 140 speeding drivers in Portsmouth in just an hour as officers warn of dangers

More than 140 drivers were caught speeding in just one location in Portsmouth over the course of an hour.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 12:58 pm

A mobile speed camera clocked the drivers travelling along Eastern Road, in Portsmouth, from 6.30am on Tuesday morning.

The arterial route was targeted for enforcement due to the number of crashes and substantiated complaints from the public.

It’s one of dozens of locations approved for use by police - and the number caught clearly justifies the action.

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Sgt Scott Kerr talks to a driver caught travelling at 43mph in a 30mph zone in Horndean Road, Emsworth on July 20. Hampshire police are supporting a national speeding campaign. Picture: Ben Fishwick

More drivers were caught by the camera system and its operator in Milton Road outside St Mary’s Hospital later in the day.

Footage from the camera will be used to issue a fine, or take the driver to court.

The vans - despite being the irrational ire of many drivers - are an essential tool.

They also record people not wearing seatbelts or using mobile phones.

Headteacher Jill Pearce-Haydon outside St James' CE Primary School in Bellevue Lane, Emsworth. Hampshire police are supporting a national speeding campaign. Picture: Ben Fishwick

The News joined traffic officers PC Dave Hazlett and Sgt Scott Kerr on Tuesday as they patrolled with an eye on catching speeding drivers.

Armed with a speed gun in Horndean Road, in Emsworth, it didn’t take PC Hazlett long to identify people flouting the 40mph limit.

It’s a busy road outside St James’ CEC Primary School, and the stretch PC Hazlett had his eye on was just yards from a zebra crossing used by pupils.

Among those caught was an apologetic 53-year-old woman driving a white Toyota Yaris.

PC Dave Hazlett in Milton Road, Portsmouth, on July 20. Hampshire police are supporting a national speeding campaign. Picture: Ben Fishwick

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Eagle-eyed PC Hazlett had clocked her travelling at 43mph along the 30mph limit road.

That’s too fast to be offered a speed awareness course - and landed her with a £100 fine and three penalty points.

Anyone building up 12 points within three years gets a ban - and learner drivers within two years of a test will lose their licence with just six points.

PC Dave Hazlett in Horndean Road, Emsworth on July 20. Hampshire police are supporting a national speeding campaign. Picture: Ben Fishwick

It was the first time this woman had been stopped for speeding in the decades she’d been on the roads - and couldn’t be more apologetic.

With highs of 28C and air conditioning blasting, the radio on and a mind elsewhere, it can only be too easy to pick up speed without realising.

But doing so could be fatal. It’s widely known - but nevertheless startling - that at 20mph a pedestrian hit by a vehicle has a 90 per cent chance of survival.

At 40mph, this inverts to a 90 per cent chance of being killed.

In 2019 some 114 people were involved in crashes where victims were killed or seriously injured in Portsmouth. In Hampshire, excluding the two cities, there were 657.

Speeding is one of the so-called fatal four: impaired driving through drink or drugs, speeding, using a mobile and having no seatbelt on.

They have earned the moniker as they are the most common factors in fatal road crashes.

Sgt Scott Kerr said: ‘Speeding is one of the main factors that result in collisions and from those collisions you can have people seriously injured or worse, people can lose their lives.

‘It’s a recognised factor that can cause destruction on the road and we’ve trying to educate the public - drive towards the speed limit, it’s not a target, and toward the condition of the road on that particular day, and their mindset and the vehicle.

‘Because it says 40mph doesn’t mean you’ve got to go at 40mph. If it’s heavy rain or blinding sunshine, or school’s moving around, or pedestrians, or building work, or any other situation, it’s not a mandatory target.’

School welcomes police action

The police activity in Horndean Road was a welcome sight to headteacher Jill Pearce-Haydon who said some parents have been concerned.

She said: ‘At St James’ CEC Primary School we encourage our families to live healthy lifestyles by walking or cycling to school.

‘We would urge drivers to manage their speed, especially near our school and be mindful of the dangers of speeding and how that would impact on our families’ lives as well as their own.’

She added: ‘Some of our families complained because a lorry pulled along up on the side of the road. They were concerned, it’s really dangerous.’

The senior teacher said even with pupils going on summer holiday from Friday, the school would remain in use over summer.

She urged drivers not to speed or park dangerously outside.

Some schools in Portsmouth are taking part in school streets - seeing the closure of the road outside the premises during pick up and drop off time.

A seven-week trial is taking place in September with Bramble Infant and Nursery School and St Jude’s Church of England Primary School. More schools will join ready for the next phase in February 2022.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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