04/10/2019
The team were out today despite the cold wind that was blowing.  They managed an hour and during that time only two cars were monitored speeding out of fifty four so a good result all round. Both vehicles were doing 46mph so I would like to believe the message is getting around.  It would seem however not everyone has quite got it yet.  The team were challenged by a driver who wrongly quoted the national speed limit to them and basically they had no right to be doing what they were doing.  So for the sake of this gentleman let me try and explain it.  To begin with the Dartmoor National Park is a special place which is clearly an area of outstanding beauty.  Many years ago it was decided that rather than place speed signs all over the moor they would use roundels painted on the road.  This was not done on a whim and special dispensation had to be achieved through a change in the law.  Now there are areas of dartmoor that were not swept up in this order and are still the National Speed limit but these are correctly signed.  When you enter the moor, for instance travelling from Dousland to Princetown you pass over the Cattle Grid and at that moment you also pass a large board telling you that you are entering a 40mph zone and asking you to drive with 'Moor Care'.  At no point along that road do you see a white sign with black diagonal stripe which is the speed deregulation sign. (If unsure please check your Highway Code)  You are therefore required to drive according to the road and weather conditions but not more than 40mph.  When you enter the village it is then 30mph.  So just to be clear the painted circles with 40 in them are the same as if they were signs on posts on the side of the road.  To exceed 40 you first have to pass a deregulation sign.  Anyone who does not agree with this can give me a call and I will run through it with them.
27/09/2019
Just a short session today due to the weather but we still managed 30 minutes.  We were out on Peek Hill and monitored the speed of 38 cars out of which 4 were speeding with two of them doing 52mph.  This is still over 10% which is not good, please slow down out there, lots of animals out there.
18/09/2019
Had a good day out at Peek Hill yesterday.  Out of 119 cars we had seven speeding but the top speed was 50mph which is a lot less than in the past.  Ideally no one would be speeding but at least we seem to be getting the speeds down.  
13/09/2019
A session today at Postbridge, in 90 minutes we did not catch anyone.  They were not speeding which is very good but this has as much to do with how busy Postbridge can be around the DNPA car park and the Clapper Bridge.  I have to say this is a bad site for us and in my opinion a dangerous one as well.  
 
02/09/2019 
This was another session out on Peek Hill but this time is was just before five.  During our session we were passed by 125 Vehicles coming towards us from Princetown.  Once again we had 18 speeders with a top speed of 64 mph.  As usual there were a lot of sheep milling around and perhaps the fresh breeze was the cause of the ponies galloping back and forwards across the road.  How anyone can honestly think that 64 mph on a road with loose animals is safe I am not sure.  Just so this driver does not feel too lonely there were 13 other vehicles driving in excess of 50mph.  I would ask these drivers to stop being so selfish and remember these animals belong to someone else.
 
30/08/2019
Well quite clearly that took everyone by surprise.  Today we were out on Peek Hill at 0700 which I accept is a ridiculous time to be out on the Moors monitoring traffic, at least that is what my wife told me.  We were passed by 145 vehicles out of which 18 were speeding.  The highest speed we recorded was 59 which is very fast and considering the number of sheep around quite dangerous.  On our last few sessions they have been quite uneventful with one or two cars speeding but this morning is quite a disappointment.  I suspect the time caught them out as they clearly were not expecting us to be there.  So that is 18 drivers who will be receiving a letter soon.
17/07/2019
I think the expression they use is 'Just when you think it's safe to go back into the water' what can I say yesterday was a disaster.  It was as if all the idiots had agreed to meet up and play silly devils on the road.  For months now we have seen a steady improvement with regards to the way people have been driving, it's been very encouraging but yesterday that all went out the window.  With a mixture of cars, vans and motorbikes we saw just 73 vehicles.  Out of those 14 were speeding with the top four speeds being 70, 67, 67 and 65 mph, two of these were cars.  We saw cars with illegal blue headlights, very small number plates, illegal, motorbikes with tilted number plates (that is so they cannot be read by Gatso Speed Cameras, also illegal.   The average speed yesterday was 55.6mph.  Some of these cars slowed down when they spotted speedwatch but I dread to think what speed they would have been travelling if we had not been there.  I have to say the majority of those speeding were young men, normally in two's in the cars.  
13/07/2019
I Have just been looking back at the figures and minus cancellations due to poor weather we have now completed 214 sessions since we started in July 2016.  Quite impressive I think and my volunteers are still as dedicated now as they always were.  We held a session out at Peek Hill on the 12th July 2016 and during our 90 minute session we monitored 141 vehicles.  Out of this batch 15 were speeding with a top speed of 55mph and an average speed of 49.6mph.  The percentage of vehicles speeding were 10.6%.
Now compare that to a session out on Peek Hill on the 11th July 2019 and this time we monitored 108 vehicles out of which just four were speeding with a top speed of 50mph and an average speed of 47mph.  These four cars represented just 3.7% of the total monitored.  Now both sessions were held during the forenoon so its as scientific as I can make it.  Weather was good on both days otherwise we would not have been out.  Bearing in mind Speedwatch is all about educating drivers and one would hope that with regards to locals once they have had a letter from the police they would think twice before speeding again I can really say it looks as if it is working.  We know in our area the number of animal deaths has reduced so all in all we are making a difference.  We will not become complacent though as we are still seeing far too many dead animals around to think we have won.  I just want to say thanks to my fantastic team of dedicated people who give their time freely to help with this.
03/07/2019
Peek Hill - We were out this morning nice and early, we started at 07.10 and stayed until 08.40.  During that time we were passed by 143 cars travelling from Dousland to Princetown.  We caught 7 vehicles speeding with a top speed of 59 mph.  On a 40 mph that really is too fast and he should be ashamed but he will not be because as he passed us he then accelerated away so no conscience at all but he will know who he is as he will soon get a letter from the police.

Peek Hill - So we were out yesterday (18/06/2019) lunchtime for a short while as unfortunately rain stopped play.  We managed 30 minutes during which time we were passed by 20 cars with two speeding at 51 and 47mph.  So that's 10% which while not good is so much better than 12 months ago.  I have recently been given the figures for RTA's involving animals.

57  animals in RTAs  01/01/19  -  10/06/19   Total dead  34   Total injured  23

Ponies/foals     11 dead      8 survived

Sheep/lambs   21 dead    13 survived

Cows/calves      2 dead      2 survived

 

Whilst this is still too many I feel we are making progress.  Lets hope the next six months do not ruin this.

 

Postbridge

 

Last week I posted an article on here about cyclists. This has clearly upset a few people which was not my intention at all. Subsequently an article then appeared in the local press which included some assumptions that were not mine. Although normally I would respond to individual comments I thought it better to post this. To begin, the article seemed to infer that I have some sort of dislike of cyclists, this is not true, without cyclists on the moors some of our villages might struggle. I was only ever referring to one small spot leading into one small village. If you know Postbridge I think you might understand my concern but it is only my concern. It was not just aimed at cyclists as motorists exceeding the speed limit are much more of a danger. I did say that the cyclists were not speeding nor were they doing anything illegal. I did say I did not know how long it takes a bike to stop from 35mph and someone kindly told me with modern brakes it can be no more than 10 metres. I think the point I was trying to get across was that with coaches offloading elderly people on one side of the road who then shuffled across to the other side that was the danger. Of course if I have offended anyone that was never my intention and I make no excuse for the fact that stood watching the road that day it did look dangerous. So if the article in the press has suggested I am anti bike then I can say that is not true. I hope this will satisfy those who believed I was referring to the whole Moor or indeed the whole country.
 
 
 

 

12 June 2019

Just come in from a session up at Bennetts Cross. Relatively quiet afternoon only passed by 41 cars in ninety minutes. Three vehicles were speeding with speeds of 53, 52 and 53 mph. The picture with this article was taken by me and these beasts were within 5 metres of the road and at one stage actually crossed over. Can you imagine hitting one of these at 53 mph. Fatal for the cow but could also be bad news for the driver. These animals do not have any road sense and very basic intelligence please do not assume they understand anything about cars or speed. So three cars in 90 minutes, well that's actually quite good so thank you to all those careful drivers.

 

 

Bennetts Cross 

Although we are out there to do a serious job on a day like today it's not so much of a chore.  Whilst not brilliant sunshine it was still very pleasant.  During our session today we were passed by 61 vehicles out of which 15 were speeding.  This is 25% which is very high and the top speed recorded was 60mph.  There were a lot of animals around today on the sides of the road and drivers need to reduce their speed to make it safe for these poor creatures.  One way in which we can measure if we are making a difference or not is in how many repeat letters are sent out.  The process involves three letters each one more severe than the last.  So for the whole of 2018 

 

Speedwatch Statistics - Hot off the press

 

Figures for 2018

 

A total of 567 letters were sent out to first time offenders

 

A total of 17 second letters were sent out

 

A total of 4 third letters were sent out

 

Figures for 2019 to date

 

A total of 228 letters were sent out to first time offenders

 

A total of 5 second letters were sent out

 

A total of 0 third letters were sent out

 

I think this is quite good, it means most people having been caught once do not reoffend which is the result we are after.

 

 

Peek Hill 

Yesterday late morning we conducted a session from the large layby on Peek Hill.  The weather was lovely and the ponies were out in strength.  It was lovely to see, however it does add extra difficulty for us.  We sometimes have to stand there watching a car driving towards these lovely animals with apparently no intention of slowing down and then driving past them with sometimes inches to spare.  I know many of you out there do not believe we should be monitoring the speed nor is there anything wrong with driving faster than 40mph because you have 'Lived up here all your lives' and 'Animals have always been killed' but ask yourself what is wrong with both of those phrases.  I do not want to be a killjoy and yet its not about that, the animals that freely roam our Moors make it what it is.  We have to protect them and respect their way of life.  Overall the driving has improved dramatically over the last three years.  Out of a total of 92 vehicles we only caught 8 speeding, that is so much better than it used to be.

 

Postbridge Bus Stop

 

Yesterday evening we conducted a session from the bus stop located on the Princetown side of Postbridge.  We have been there before but its not a regular of ours.  We were monitoring the traffic coming from two bridges and during our session we were passed by 61 vehicles whilst the majority were driving within the speed limit 10 were not with a high speed of 61 mph.  There were a lot of walkers milling around last night and these drivers were certainly putting these people at risk.  

 

Session number Eighteen

Well  yesterday we were out later in the day just around five and  what a difference the time of day can make.  We were monitoring in a different direction and seemed to have caught quite a few out. We were passed by 105 cars and 28 of them were speeding with the top speed of 62. This was out on Peek Hill and before we are accused of being the 'Stop fun Police' there were a number of ponies out there crossing and recrossing the road. So I suspect a whole load of new people will soon be receiving their letters. Please slow down and remember we are going to be out again soon.

Session number Seventeen

Well today it was a session out on Peek Hill where it was very cold.  It was midmorning and a good session as out of 82 vehicles we only had three speeding.  This on that stretch of road is a good result so very pleased.

Session number Sixteen

Well it was a short session out on Pork Hill this lunchtime, first we had a cold wind, well we can cope with that. Then came rain followed by hail, sleet and snow, It will not surprise you to know we packed up early.  During our short session we were passed by 40 cars out of which 4 were speeding.  The highest being 48mph so slower than normal but then as I have said conditions were deteriorating.

Session number Fifteen

Perhaps it's the sunny weather, makes people think the roads are dry the visibility is good so we will speed.  Whatever it is that drives these people to disregard the speed limits it makes for disappointing reading.  Our session today was out at Bennetts Cross.  We were passed by 68 vehicles and 19 of these were speeding.  Interesting exactly the same number we had at Postbridge earlier in the week.  The highest speed today by a car was 58 but were passed by three individual motorbikes which were going to fast for us to catch their number plates.  I cannot imagine the mess from hitting a sheep  whilst riding a motorbike at speed.  It would be pretty bad I suspect, might even result in a fatality, I expect the sheep would be killed as well.  

 

Session number Fourteen

We were out on the postbridge road on the 26th around lunchtime. We have always known this is the fastest road we have in our circuit. Lots of controversy on this road as to why we are there when it is clearly fenced. I know I have said this before but once again I saw animals loose on the verges along this road. I am sure this is why it was deemed necessary to it to be made a 40mph zone. This session was a complete contrast to our last session and was in fact as if we had gone back two years. In our 90 minute session we were passed by 73 cars out of which 19 were speeding. This is a very high percentage and totally unacceptable. If you need to get from A to B and you need to be there by a particular time leave a couple of minutes earlier because that is all we are talking about, just a few minutes. Out of this 19 vehicles 12 were exceeding 50mph with one car topping out at 60mph, this is not acceptable and you might see a police camera van there next time you are speeding, then you have more than just a letter to worry about.

Session number Thirteen

They do say that thirteen is unlucky for some, well perhaps in someways it is.  For instance our session today was cut short because of the rain so we only managed to track 49 vehicles in the 40 minutes we were out there.  However the lucky part of it was that none of those 49 vehicles were speeding.  This is out at Peek Hill we are talking about, normally we can guarantee we will get our first within five minutes but not on this day.  Now this is probably a one off but it feels really good.

Session number Twelve

This session  took place out at Postbridge, the day looked as if it was going to rain but I am glad to say it held off while the session took place.  There was a sharp wind which felt as if it was coming directly from the Arctic.  We had a relatively quiet 90 minutes only being passed by 52 cars but 18 of these were speeding with the two highest caught at 63 and 67mph.  This is really not good enough, these two are just accidents waiting to happen.  I have mentioned before about tunnel vision and the way some drivers just do not seem to notice us standing there in full view with signs and Hi Vis jackets, well yesterday was a really good example of this.  We were passed by a blue Mazda MX5 travelling towards Postbridge, about 20 minutes later that same car came back and passed us at 52mph.  Surely he must have noticed us as he passed us the first time but this would suggest he did not, this is really quite disturbing.

 

Session number Eleven

This session  took place on Peek Hill, it was busy with 123 vehicles passing us travelling from Dousland to Princetown.  With only ten vehicles speeding this is a good result.  Interesting our highest speed was again 55mph, the driver stopped and was very pleasant saying he did not realise he was going that fast.  I suspect that may well be the case with lots of drivers.

 

Session number Ten

This was another session that took place at Postbridge, not really planned this way but a last minute change of site seemed to have forced this into being.  It was a breakfast session so we were passed by 40 vehicles and 13 of these were speeding, roughly a third so not a good percentage.  The fastest was 55mph so at least this was not as bad as we have had on some occasions.

Session number Nine

We held a good session out Postbridge On Wednesday 20th. Interestingly it was a day of the hunt.  I was told by someone that it was in fact three hunts all joining together, something in the region of seventy riders but that may be wrong.  It did seem that every layby and possible stopping space was full of 4x4's and Horseboxes.  Considering this you would expect the speed of vehicles to be much slower than normal.  Well with the exception of one idiot it was.  Perhaps idiot is too strong a word but how else would you describe someone who we monitored driving at 78mph.  Clearly with so much traffic stopping and unloading horses this speed was criminal.  Him aside we actually tracked 85 vehicles and 12 of them were speeding with 54mph being the highest.  On this road 18 months ago we would have caught twice this number at least.  

 

Session number Eight

We held a good session out on Peek Hill On Friday 15th.  The weather was good and visibility was 100%.  During the time out there we were passed by exactly 100 cars. Our speeders totalled 7 so making the sums quite easy, we had 7% that were speeding.  Two of these caused us a little concern, one young lad overtook another car and then continued to accelerate past us.  I am positive he knew we were there, it's hard not to spot four Hi Vis jackets.  Perhaps he thought we were just a bunch of villagers doing our own thing, hope he changes that view when he gets his letter.  The other car that caused us concern was a lady driver who appeared over the brow of the hill in the mid fifties and at no time did she slow her car down.  As she swept by us it was obvious why, she was holding her mobile phone to her ear, engrossed in her conversation and oblivious to us being there.  When we reported her for speeding we also made mention of the mobile phone.  I know that two years ago on this same stretch of road we would have expected at least double and maybe even treble the number speeding.  It really does feel as if we are slowing the traffic down at least on some roads.

 

 

Session number Seven

We actually managed to do a session today in the village of Princetown. We have not had the best of luck this year with the weather resulting in the last three sessions having to be cancelled.  The weather today was okay and we managed 90 minutes.  During that time we were passed by 59 vehicles and no one was exceeding the speed limit.  Excellent result although some might find it surprising.  I have to be honest standing out there with the speed gun you realise people are not driving quite as fast as you might have first thought.

Session number Six

This lunchtime, 28th January,  we were out at Peek Hill but in the small layby looking back towards the village.  We have not been here since before Christmas and it caught a few drivers out.  We were passed by 79 cars and only five of these were speeding.  The top speed recorded was 52 with an average speed of 48.2 mph so a much better result than we have had in the past.  I do feel that overall the issue of speed across the moors at least in our area has improved.  Still not perfect but we are getting there.

Session number Five

Bennetts Cross today, 24th January, was disappointing, it took me back to the early days when it seemed nearly every car was speeding.  As the session crept by and the number of cars passing built up the overall percentage dropped but not as much as I would have liked.  We finished the session with 31.5% exceeding the speed limit.  This really is very bad, and there were animals around.

Session number Four

This morning we were out at Postbridge just after sunrise.  Lovely morning and surprisingly a bit quiet.  In our session only 31 cars passed us with 8 speeding.  The top speed today was 65 and the driver either did not see us or did not care.  From the engine noise it sounded as if he was still accelerating.  This is a very selfish driver who will not stop until something happens to make him realise that he is just an accident waiting to happen.  Whilst out there the local bus stopped and the driver informed me that a BMW had passed him just before he got to the bridge where it changes into a single lane.  I wonder what sort of emergency would make someone risk their life like this.

 

Session number Three

Yesterday we were out on Pork Hill and I have to say the traffic is going a lot slower than this time last year.  Out of 95 cars that passed us only four were exceeding the limit.  This is really good news and very encouraging to myself and the team.  The top speed was 49 which is not exactly the crime of the century but still a bit too fast.  

Session number Two

So yesterday we had session number 2 of the year (168) in total. A bit disappointing as we had 15 cars speeding out of 49 so just under 15% but they have not seen us out near Posbridge for nearly a month. The fastest speed recorded was 62mph and yes we know its a fast bit of road but nearer two bridges there were loose sheep out on the verge. If it says 40 on the roads then that is the speed.

Session number One

So yesterday was our 1st session of the year, number (167) since we started.  It was a good session with 98 cars passing us and only 5 exceeding the speed limit.  Two of these were vans which is tending to be the case on many occasions.  It was bitterly cold and we had not been out since the 20th of December so to see such a low number of offenders was encouraging.  Back when we started it would have been normal to see at least 15 - 17 speeding vehicles on that road from that number of cars but its been steadily dropping which is all good news.

Session  Date Place Speed No of Vehicles No of Speeding Vehicles

Top Speed

Average Speed
1 09/01/19 Peek Hill 10.00 - 11.30 98 5 53 49.2
 2  11/01/19  Postbridge 12.00 - 13.30   49  15  62  49.99
 3  16/01/19  Pork Hill  14.40 - 15.50  95  4  49  47.25
4 21/01/2019 Postbridge 08.15 - 09.45 31 8 65 53.12
5 24/01/2019 Bennetts Cross   38 12 53 49.66
6 28/01/2019 Peek Hill JG21A 11.50 - 13.20 79 5 52 48.2
7  11/02/2019  Princetown JG20B  13.00 - 14.30  51  0  n/a  n/a
8 15/02/2019  Peek Hill 09.00 - 10.30 100 7 54 48.71
9 20/02/2019 Postbridge JG23B 11.30 - 13.00 85 12 78 51.33