A SERIES of speed checks in West Devon and on Dartmoor earlier this month proved successful in educating road users, but showed that the main speeding culprits were in fact local residents.

In recent months, complaints have been made to Tavistock police officers regarding motorists driving at excessive speed in rural locations. At the request of local officers, speed enforcement was carried out by officers from road traffic policing and rural crime teams on Saturday, April 6.

Officers conducted enforcements in Mary Tavy, on Peek Hill and Dousland, before they travelled to Wotter and Bickleigh.

At Mary Tavy — a 30mph zone — on the A386 parked at CJ Down Garage Car Park, police stopped more than 20 vehicles for excessive speed and four were reported, with the highest speed reaching 43mph.

In total, throughout the day of enforcements, the officers stopped more than 30 vehicles and 12 were reported.

Road traffic specials inspector Dave Wooding, who led the enforcements, said: ‘The majority of those we stopped for driving at excessive speed were people from the local area. We are here at the request of Tavistock police as a response to the complaints they have received about people constantly driving too fast through their villages, towns and on Dartmoor. So to find that the majority of people who we caught speeding were in fact local residents is quite staggering.

‘Generally though the speed limits were being observed by the vast majority of motorists and a positive message has been sent to the community.’

West Devon sector inspector Mark Sloman said: ‘People can easily go into auto-pilot and are less aware of what is going on around them, including watching their speed, when driving in areas they are very familiar with. It’s very easy to become complacent on a road you travel every day

‘We would ask drivers to take as much care on our local roads as they do when going on long journeys. We all live very busy lives but please take a moment to think about your speed when you are on the school run or on your way to work.

‘We are working hard with partners to reduce the number of fatal or serious injury road traffic collisions on our local roads and we need the public support to help us achieve this.’