Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

Are Smart Motorways Fit for Purpose?

Smart Motorways were introduced nationwide after a successful pilot ended on the M42 near Birmingham in 2010. They were designed without a hard shoulder to separate drivers who break down from the normal flow of speeding traffic. In the pilot,there were safe stopping points for motorists, called emergency safety refuges, on average every 600 metres. 
 The three different types of smart motorway currently include controlled motorways, dynamic hard shoulder running schemes and all lane running schemes. 


Read more: Are Smart Motorways Fit for Purpose?

Clean Your Windscreen!

A traffic officer has warned of the dangers of driving unroadworthy vehicles after a woman was convicted of killing her disabled cousin.

Hayley Sterna, 51, was driving a Peugeot van south along the B1052, Brinkley Road, at Westley Waterlees, on 4 January when she hit Chris Clements who was riding in a wheelchair close to the road.

Mr Clements, 40, of Beech Croft, Brinkley, was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but died the following morning.

Following a police investigation, Sterna, of Braefield, Somersham, admitted causing death by careless driving because she had driven with a dirty windscreen, causing her to be dazzled by sunlight.

However, she was yesterday (29 August) found not guilty of the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving after a jury at Cambridge Crown Court concluded her driving had not fallen “far below” the standard expected.

Today, she was sentenced at the same court to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, disqualification from driving for two years with an extended retest and 200 hours' community service.

Sergeant Simon Goldsmith, who investigated, said: “This case shows the potentially devastating consequences of driving a vehicle that is not fit for the road.

“It would not have taken long to clean the windscreen and replenish her washer fluid but Sterna made the tragic decision not to.

“Driving is something many of us do every day and it can be easy to forget we are in charge of a potentially lethal weapon. It’s crucial everyone regularly checks their vehicle is roadworthy, particularly during autumn and winter months when road conditions are likely to be worse.”

During the trial, the court heard Mr Clements was walking his dog when the collision took place at about 2.25pm.

Forensic collision investigations showed Sterna had not cleared her windscreen during her journey, having run out of screen wash.

She also failed to clean the screen or add screen wash despite having a two-and-a-half hour break and after the collision she said she had been dazzled by sunlight through the windscreen.

Speeding Fines

Speeding seems to be on the increase lately, perhaps because roads are quieter. Bear in mind that fines for drivers caught doing 51mph in a 30mph zone or 101mph on a motorway will start from 150% of weekly income, rather than the previous level of 100%. Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: “Every death or life changing injury which happens as a result of speeding is one too many. These incidents have devastating consequences for the victims and their friends and families, and the community. I am fully supportive of the new fines.”

Is a vehicle taxed and insured?

Now that the tax disc is no more it can be difficult to check if a vehicle is taxed.

Click to check whether a vehicle is taxed via a government site here.

Click to check whether your own vehicle is insured here

Click to check whether someone else's vehicle is insured in the event of an accident here



Parking Issues

This photograph, taken by Ken Creed, demonstrates how pressure on limited parking spaces can lead to drivers leaving their vehicles in locations which cause danger to others.


 What does the law say

Read this article for information on parking law. 

All about Parking