Sussex company wins international Road Safety Award
Every day, five people are killed in traffic collisions on UK roads, two as a direct result of speeding. Until recently, communities desperate to help address the problem lacked organisation and tools to participate efficiently, however in 2013, Community Speedwatch Online (CSW Online) was created to remedy that problem.
At a ceremony in Brussels on 26 June, the EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc presented the Excellence in Road Safety Awards 2018 to six European organisations for their inspirational and innovative initiatives to improve road safety and save lives on our roads. CSW Online was this year’s only UK winner, receiving their award in the category of Small to Medium sized Enterprises.
Commenting on the success of the scheme, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Speedwatch is a great example of local communities working together with the police to help people use the roads responsibly. Not only has it been shown to act as a deterrent for people exceeding local speed limits, it also enhances the quality of life for residents.
“I am very proud that this Sussex-born initiative has been recognised and rewarded on an international level for having raised the profile of Community Speedwatch. The technology, the organisation and the methodology they have designed are all transferable and easily adaptable to any country with problems and conditions like those in the UK.”
Sussex Police Assistant Chief Constable Steve Barry added: “We are fully supportive of the innovative work carried out by Community Speedwatch Online and its ever-increasing band of volunteers. Police officers cannot be everywhere all the time, and these volunteers help us to detect and deter speeding at a number of locations across the county.
“I am delighted the group has been recognised internationally for its commitment to saving lives on our roads. CSW has grown rapidly since it was set up locally in 2013 and I’d like to congratulate – and thank – everyone involved for their hard work. Long may it continue.”
Jan Jung, Chief Executive of CSW Online, used the occasion in Brussels to point out the skewed balance between the attention going into protecting drivers and passengers inside their cars, and the lack of focus on other more vulnerable road users outside; pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders, especially.
“Attitudes to driving, and education of irresponsible drivers need to change dramatically. Every week somewhere in the UK, one small child doesn’t make it home alive from school – killed in a road accident. Every single day, 500 lives are wiped out on Europe’s roads. That is a problem of epidemic proportions. It should have everybody’s attention.”
The CSW Online team aims to organise all counties’ Community Speedwatch schemes under one national banner to maximise the impact this can have on solving the problem. “We want to make sure that the vast voluntary, community investment is made effective, and that the schemes are given the credibility they deserve.” he says. “Stopping the carnage of 1.3 million people killed or seriously injured on Europe’s roads every year starts with organising community involvement on a far greater scale.”