Hougham residents take law - and speed gun - into their own hands

Hougham parish councillors Robin Johnson and Robert Scott have been catching speeding motorists along Main Street.
Hougham parish councillors Robin Johnson and Robert Scott have been catching speeding motorists along Main Street.
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A group of residents and parish councillors have decided to take their own action against motorists who regularly speed through their village.

Hougham parish councillor Robin Johnson, vice-chairman Robert Scott and others living in the village have started monitoring those driving up Main Street with a purchased speed gun.

Despite clear 30mph signs as you enter the road, they have recorded a high number of motorists driving in excess of the speed limit.

During their first speed check session over six hours on one day in September, they recorded 172 people driving over the limit.

The worst offender was a motorcyclist clocked driving at 61mph, and subsequently their details along with others were passed on to police.

This Monday the group were out in force again armed with their speed gun and additional 30mph signs.

After just two hours they reported that 45% of those going past were driving over 30mph, and 9% over 40mph.

Mr Johnson added: “One lady who we clocked going too fast, drove back and said that what WE were doing was illegal.”

The group have received assurances from their local police officer that they are completely within their rights to do these speed checks.

Moreover they stress that they are only doing it because speeding has long been an ongoing issue affecting their community.

“It comes up at every parish meeting,” said Mr Scott. “The police do their best, but they have to cover a wide area - this is our way of helping to tackle the problem.”

The group plan to do more speed check sessions in the future, and are liaising with Lincolnshire Police and the county’s Road Safety Partnership about other possible speed enforcement measures.

A spokesman for the Road Safety Partnership has clarified the rules around the use of speed guns. For a successful prosection, the equipment must be Home Office type approved, a record of pre-use checks must be held, the operator must be authorised by the Chief Constable and trained in speed assessment.

They added that it is not illegal to own the equipment or operate it, as long as it is not considered a nuisance to road users.