Police on patrol after speeder hit 95mph

Police on patrol after speeder hit 95mph

7 April 2021

TWO days after it was revealed that a driver was clocked travelling at an astonishing 95mph in the 40mph zone at the Strangford Road in Downpatrick, police were on patrol in the area checking motorists’ speed.

Officers were at the Strangford Road last Friday as part of a district-wide operation checking driver speeds, with confirmation that one fixed penalty notice was issued.

At this same stretch of road during the first 10 weeks of the year, 28 drivers were clocked travelling over 70mph in the 40mph zone.

Police say drivers should be mindful of greater number of people crossing roads or walking along country roads, particularly close to parks, green spaces and public amenities. 

Confirmation that one driver was clocked at 95mph at the Strangford Road, along with other outrageous speeds recorded in the Castlewellan, Killyleagh and Newcastle areas, came from the district’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

The speeds were recorded on a series of electronic devices to record speed, with plans to install many more over the coming months.

Erected as part of a major offensive on drivers who break the law at a number of well known speeding hot spots, the speed indicator devices are being hailed a success as speeds in most areas where they are located are reducing.

However, concern remains about the behaviour of some drivers continuing to show a blatant disregard for 30mph and 40mph speed limits in place at the Strangford Road with the 95mph speed recorded recently described by one local politician as “horrific”.

A 40mph restriction is in force heading towards the War Memorial from the Strangford direction where it then s down to a 30mph zone. The current speed restriction sign is located just a short distance before the start of the 30mph zone.

Residents in the built-up area — which includes a significant number of houses, a nursing home and local authority depot — have continually expressed concern about the speed of drivers who use the busy road.

Downpatrick councillor Dermot Curran says the speeding issue has been raised with him by concerned residents.

“This is a busy road and the bad behaviour of some drivers when they get behind the wheel is putting both them and other road users at risk,” he said.

Cllr Curran also shares the view that the current location of the speed indicator sign at the Strangford Road needs to be reviewed and believes that it should be moved further 

back towards the entrance to Lecale Park.

“Residents are concerned that the 30mph and 40mph seed limits along this busy stretch of road are being ignored,” he continued. “Their concerns must be addressed.

“The Strangford Road is popular with walkers and is particularly busy at this time of year. Some residents that I have spoken with hope the information the speed indicator sign is providing will result in a concerted effort by the relevant authorities to tackle the speeding problem at this particular road.”

Cllr Curran said everyone has a responsibility to drive safely and within the speed limit in force along the roads. 

He added: “The speed limits are there for a reason and must be obeyed. There is a clear and obvious need for motorists to adopt a much more responsible attitude to their driving and slow down, to protect both themselves and pedestrians.”