Number of speeding motorists in Sheffield caught during roadside checks plummets

The number of speeding drivers caught by police in Sheffield using handheld devices has fallen dramatically over the last five years.

Wednesday, 26th September 2018, 12:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 3:29 am

In 2014, officers armed with speed guns detected 657 offences across the city, but the number of motorists caught has since fallen steadily to 110 last year.

In the seven months to the beginning of August this year, officers took action against just 61 drivers who had been clocked breaking the speed limit during roadside checks.

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The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that so far in 2018 there have been only two spots in Sheffield where more than 10 speeding drivers were caught using the devices: Shepcote Lane, in Tinsley; and Buchanan Road, in Parson Cross.

In parts of the country, members of the public work with police in known speeding hot spots to monitor drivers' speed using the devices, with warning letters sent to those exceeding the limit and enforcement action taken against repeat offenders.

Community Speedwatch, which coordinates this initiative, said South Yorkshire Police had yet to sign up to use its online system.

Jan Jung, of Community Speedwatch, said that in areas it does manage thousands of volunteers are '˜proactively addressing the problem of speeding on their local roads'.

'Our internal stats show that well-organised, sustained Speedwatch makes a difference in bringing the problem of speeding under control.  The vast majority of drivers react positively to receiving the first warning letter,' he added.

'Those intent on continuing their antisocial behaviour by driving above the maximum speed limits will after a number of repeated educational warnings automatically get passed on from the system to the police for targeted enforcement.'

South Yorkshire Police warned drivers at the end of July that officers in Sheffield had been armed with new speed guns, so the number of motorists caught could be set to rise sharply.

The force said at the time that a number of drivers had been clocked over the limit during just 15 minutes of the devices being used in Fox Hill, Parson Cross and Southey Green.

And it claimed to have a list of speeding hot spots where it would be '˜actively looking to slow the traffic down'.

Radar and laser guns used at the roadside give an instant speed reading, enabling police to pull over any offenders.

Those caught can be given a verbal warning, a £100 fine and three penalty points, or they can be offered to chance to attend a speed awareness course.

They can also be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £2,500 and possible disqualification.

In August, a police Q&A in the south east of Sheffield was dominated by complaints of speeding drivers proving a menace on streets in Hackenthorpe and Darnall.

Police said at the time they received numerous requests to carry out speed checks in the area but when they did so the public response was often more negative than positive. During 2014, 322 of the drivers caught were fined or had their licence endorsed, 217 completed a retraining course and 97 were prosecuted. In the remaining 21 cases, action was cancelled by police.

Last year, 60 drivers paid a fine or had their licence endorsed, 12 were prosecuted and 30 completed a retraining course.

South Yorkshire Police has not responded to The Star's request to comment on the latest figures.

Offences detected by police officers using hand held devices in Sheffield (number prosecuted, fined or given points on their licence)

2014: 657 (419)

2015: 417 (273)

2016: 327 (218)

2017: 110 (72)

2018 (to beginning of August): 61 (46)