THE Times is delighted to link up with its partners to curb speeding on local roads.

The paper is linking up with the Cowdenbeath Community Police team, the Central Fife Crime Prevention Panel, Cowdenbeath Area Committee and local primary schools and community councils to persuade drivers to Think Before You Speed.

On Thursday the campaign was launched at Lumphinnans Primary School and remarkably as community police officer PC Gavin Keith was giving one of the Junior Road Safety Officers involved in the project advice on operating a speed gun a vehicle raced by doing between 50 and 60mph.

That shocked PC Keith, the children and partners but the community police officer managed to get the vehicle's registration number.

Times Chief Reporter, Jim Stark said: "That was really an example of what can be experienced outside our local schools, while most vehicles. Often our 20's plenty zones become rat runs with too many motorists ignoring the speed limits and forgetting exactly why the speed limits are in place.

"That is why we are hoping that we can persuade drivers to think about the speed they are doing on when they get behind the wheel."

Community Sergeant Kate Blackwell said: "Reducing the number of casualties on our roads is a Police Scotland priority and we are committed to keeping the road network in Fife safe for all of those who use it.

"Driving at excessive speeds reduces your ability to control your vehicle and increases the time it takes to stop.

"In addition to putting yourself at risk, it also places other road users, such as pedestrians, in danger".

Teacher at Lumphinnans Primary, Katie Walker, says that the busy road which goes past their school linking Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly provides a lot of challenges for the children and their team of Junior Road Safety Officers, 12 in number with two coming from each class, are working at trying to persuade drivers to slow down as they pass the school.

Katie said: "It is a very busy road and while many drivers observe the 20mph limit a lot do not and that is a worry as it is hard for the children to cross in the morning and at night."

PC Gavin Keith was delighted to let the JRSOs see how to work the speed gun and soon the youngsters will be out tracking down speeders.

Said Gavin: "The 20mph speed limits around our schools are there for a reason and people really should think about the speed they are doing when near primaries and secondaries.

"Hopefully we can work at persuading drivers that it is the right way to operate on the road."

The Central Fife Crime Prevention Panel has been kind enough to sponsor a number of pop-up signs which schools have been deploying around schools offering advice to motorists about speeding and parking in and around primaries.

They have also sponsored the hi vis vests which have been made by Cowdenbeath company Namedroppers which are worn by the primary school JRSOs.

Vice chair David Roy said: "Road safety is a priority around our schools and we are delighted to back this campaign., but we are also aware that speeding affects roads all around the district and it is important that drivers realise how dangerous exceeding the limit on whatever road they are on


Chair of the Cowdenbeath Area Committee, Councillor Linda Erskine, said that they had 16 primary schools in the area and irresponsible parking and speeding was something that repeatedly occurred.

She said: "I honestly cannot understand people who park irresponsibly around schools and speed on roads such as the one that goes past Lumphinnans Primary.

"These factors are breaking road safety rules and of course excessive speed is something which affects all of our roads from time to time.

"Hopefully we can see an impact on the behaviour of drivers on our local and see more people adhere to speed limits."

Jim Martin, chair of Lumphinnans Community Council commented: "The speed of cars on Main Stree, Lumphinnans, has been a problem for many, many years.

"A number of ideas have been used to try to persuade motorists to reduce their speed coming towards the school but while many do, too many don't and the example shown today by that driver doing at least 50 was simply unacceptable.

"If we can get people to understand the reason for speed limits then maybe more will show a responsible approach."

The campaign will be going around several primary schools over the coming months and also will be speaking to the Community Speed watch teams set up in some of our communities by volunteers who have seen a number of local motorists caught.