Euan McGrory: Giving speed guns to volunteers could help make roads safer - but there are problems

A volunteer tries out a speed gun
A volunteer tries out a speed gun
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It is easy to be cynical about the latest ploy to tackle speeding on the Capital’s streets.

Rather than arming volunteers with speed guns, shouldn’t we expect the police to be out doing the job themselves?

I think in situations like this you have to be realistic about what is and isn’t going to happen.

There are far more communities across the Lothians that have legitimate concerns about cars speeding through their neighbourhoods than there are police officers available to patrol them. The same goes for council roads officials who might go out to install traffic measuring equipment.

Giving people the chance to demonstrate the extent of the problems they are facing has got to be a good thing.

The volunteers will need proper training - to ensure they don’t put themselves in any danger - and the whole initiative will need sensible oversight.

At the moment, a lot of communities feel like their worries are being ignored or not dealt with properly.

The biggest problem will probably come after the volunteers have gone out to record the problems on their streets. There are likely to be a stack of claims for extra police patrols or extra traffic calming measures - and still not enough resource to deal with them.