Published: August 18, 2012
Police to launch speed crackdown on the M5 over the coming week

Motorists have been warned that there will be an increased police presence on the M5 motorway during the next week as officers launch a crackdown on speeding drivers.

Police and Community Speed Watch volunteers in Somerset are taking part in a Europe-wide week-long campaign, starting on Monday.

Avon and Somerset Police say there will be high-visibility mobile patrols on major roads in the region, including the M5 in the Burnham-On-Sea area.

Patrol vehicles will be stationed for maximum exposure on motorway bridges and police patrol vehicle bays, while highway matrix signs will display speed enforcement and speed reduction messages.

Police say they will be using all the speed detection technology at their disposal, including mobile speed cameras and ANPR, the automatic number plate recognition system.

In towns and villagers across Somerset, officers will also support teams of Community Speed Watch volunteers who have been mobilised to monitor traffic throughout the week.

Operations and Traffic Chief Inspector John Holt said: "Speed limits are there for a reason. Speed is one of the main factors in fatal road collisions and slowing down just a few miles an hour can mean the difference between life and death."

"The faster someone is driving, the less time they have to stop if something unexpected happens. During this week, and every day of the year, we will detect and stop speeding drivers."

"We are determined that a robust enforcement approach and an effective driver education programme will make our roads safer for all."

In 2011, 51 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes where speed was a factor. The risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph.

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