A pilot scheme which used civilians to man speed checks has been hailed a “remarkable success” by cutting the number of excessive speeders in a north village by 90%.
Data collected by hidden speed monitors for 10 days after the project ended has shown that the reduction stayed reduced to the same level as when volunteers were on duty.
The 12-week initiative enlisted volunteers in Culbokie village to stand near a speed warning road sign and take down information about any vehicle shown to be doing more than the 30mph limit.
Dat since then shows a more than 90% reduction of vehicles travelling above 40mph and a more than 60% reduction for those above 35mph. Those recorded doing between 30mph and 35mph have also dropped by about 30%.
The scheme will continue as a permanent community service and volunteers are now standing beside the sign twice a week for 40 minutes instead of an hour.
The pilot finished at the end of May and hidden speed monitoring equipment was installed on the road for the first 10 days of June. The same equipment was used during the first week in June last year in order to make a fair comparison.
Bruce Morrison, of Ferintosh Community Council, said: “In terms of speeds these are big, big reductions.
“It has proved to be remarkably successful. When we are not standing there we now know for sure that speeding is reduced. This is a behaviour change of a relatively permanent state. The volunteers are so motivated by the results that we have decided to carry on with the scheme. We know it makes a difference and we don’t want it to fade away and we want to reinforce it. It is no longer a pilot project but a service to the community. We are absolutely delighted with it.
“I want to congratulate the residents as they raised it three to four years ago as an issue and we then pressed the police and Highland Council, so this is a bottom up campaign, but we could not have done it without them.”
The scheme was backed at a community council meeting in January after a survey at the time showed that more than 50% of vehicles exceeded the 30mph limit.
The initiative involves eight volunteers working in groups of three and wearing high visibility jackets.
Area Inspector Nick MacRae said: “We are delighted that the initiative has been a resounding success in encouraging drivers to change their behaviour when in and around the village. The noted reductions in speeding are a great step forward and will hopefully encourage other communities to get on board to make villages and towns safer across the Highlands.”