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Last Updated: Friday, 7 January, 2005, 06:49 GMT
Villagers given police radar guns
Radar gun
Eight villagers will be trained to use police radar guns
Residents of a north Wales village are to use police radar guns to record vehicles which ignore a 40mph speed limit past their homes.

Drivers caught speeding by eight volunteers will receive warning letters from North Wales Police but the force will take no action against them.

People in Pentrefoelas in Conwy have said drivers' speed is a major issue.

It is the first time the project has been launched in north Wales although there are others elsewhere in the UK.

Two years ago, the villagers of St Brides Major in the Vale of Glamorgan became the first in Wales to be given a speed laser gun by police to try to catch motorists speeding through their streets.

It may remind some people that have been speeding that it may not be a villager who is holding the gun the next time, it could be police officer with the power to enforce

The eight-week Pentrefoelas trial on the A5 has been set up with the help of North Wales Police.

Locals met Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom in summer 2004 and told him that the long straight stretch of road, which cuts the village in two, means many motorists are tempted to race through.

As Pentrefoelas does not meet the requirements for a fixed speed camera, North Wales Police has agreed to lend a team of eight volunteers hand-held speed guns.

Working in pairs, the volunteers will record the registrations of anyone they catch speeding and pass the details onto the police.

'Mostly harmless'

The police will then send out warning letters advising drivers they have been caught speeding and urging them to obey the law in future.

Andrew Howard, head of road safety for the AA Motoring Trust, said: "I don't see it as anything that anyone should be getting outraged about. It's mostly harmless.

"It's a way that the residents can do something about these things.

"As long as we end up with a system where the volunteer with the speed gun does not end up with you getting points on your licence or a fine - that's the responsibility of a policeman."

Roger Vincent, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: "If it is proven that there is a major problem in that area, it will back up the concerns that have been raised, but there is no substitute for real police officers doing the job.

"It may remind some people that have been speeding that it may not be a villager who is holding the gun the next time, it could be police officer with the power to enforce."

Pupils tackle speeding drivers
24 Jun 03 |  South East Wales
Villagers armed with speed guns
18 Aug 03 |  Northamptonshire
Speed cameras 'cut road deaths'
15 Jun 04 |  England

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