Volunteers help police catch North Staffordshire's speeders
POLICE are appealing for volunteers to help catch speeding drivers in a town.
A community 'speedwatch' group has been set up in an effort to get motorists to stick to the speed limit in Leek.
Staffordshire Police approached the Action West End residents group for volunteers in a bid to tackle problem roads in the town.
Speedwatch volunteer and Action West End secretary, Reg Davies, said: "It's vital that we support the community and act as a warning to drivers who speed along these roads.
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"We are very concerned for the safety of our school children and pedestrians who are vulnerable to careless drivers.
"I think the scheme will make a difference because people will see us and slow down.
"We just want to keep people safe. It would be terrible if there was an accident because of reckless driving."
Newcastle Road, Buxton Road and Springfield Road have all been highlighted as problem areas by police.
The speedwatch volunteers will work in pairs to check the speed of drivers in these areas, and several others.
The teams will record the registrations of cars who break the speed limit, before handing them into the police.
Officers will then send out warning letters and charge motorists caught twice with a £60 penalty and three points on their licence.
Volunteer Anthony Kirk, aged 58, from Fountain Street, Leek, said: "I volunteered because I'm concerned about pedestrians being hit by cars. I often see people racing each other, playing chicken or mounting the kerb to try and get around park cars.
"If you're elderly, or a parent with a pram, you might not be able to jump out of the way in time."
Anthony will spend six to eight hours a week volunteering following the two hour mandatory training session.
He said: "I'm happy to do it because I think it will make a big difference."
Equipment for the scheme was funded by the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership.
PCSO James Naylor said: "We're really hopeful that this will make a difference to the safety of the roads in Leek. We find that the biggest problems are on long roads where people can really get their speed up. Obviously this can be very dangerous."
The sessions are due to start at the end of the month.
Mr Naylor added: "We're looking for anyone that can spare a few hours a week. It's as much or as little as they can manage, and we offer free training for all volunteers."
Anyone interested in volunteering for speedwatch should contact PSCO Naylor or PCSO Amanda Dale on 101.