THE council is celebrating after seeing the average speed of cars reduced since installing new roadside devices. 

Dorset Council has seen a reduction of measured speeds through towns and villages, with Fontmell Magna seeing a reduction of more than 5mph from 37.1mph to 31.2mph. 

The authority has also seen more cars driving under the speed limit, up from 529 a day to 1,204 in the village.

All of this is since the introduction of speed indicator devices peppered across the county over the past 10 years.

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The familiar devices are installed alongside the road and activated by approaching cars to display vehicle speeds and other messages such as ‘slow down’. 

This helps raise driver awareness of speed limits to reduce traffic speeds and increase road safety. 

In 2013, the Community SID programme was updated and relaunched by council officers Joe Allen and Rob Camp to encourage and support more communities to get involved in road safety.

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Since then, 77 communities have signed up for the initiative at 230 locations around the Dorset Council area. 

Cllr Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment, said: “I am delighted this scheme has been a success and grown hugely over the past 10 years. 

“The figures show the impact the devices have on reducing traffic speeds, something many communities are concerned about, and they contribute towards changing driver behaviour through our towns and villages. 

“My thanks to Joe and Rob who took the opportunity to start the scheme and all the communities who are helping to make a difference and make our roads safer.” 

A spokesperson for Wool Parish Council, which has seen the benefit of the devices, said: “Every flash of a speed indicator device is a silent reminder to slow down, drive safely and protect lives. 

“We installed two SIDs across four locations in 2019 and they have been enormously successful, prompting drivers to think about their speed.” 

They added: “Residents complain when the signs are temporarily removed so they don’t receive a thank you for slowing down. 

“The support the council has received from the SID Team has been fantastic and they are a testament to Dorset Council’s commitment to promoting responsible driving.”