Traffic police scarecrows target local drivers
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Scarecrows dressed as traffic cops have been enlisted to help tackle the issue of speeding motorists on local roads.
Residents living in villages within the Sinclair's Bay Community Council area are worried about road safety during the Covid-19 restrictions.
Due to the increased number of pedestrians exercising on rural routes at the moment, drivers are being urged to slow down and obey the speed limits.
Urging motorists to take care, six-year-old Caalin Rosie from Reiss said: “Please slow down. It makes me sad and angry when people go speeding past my house – there will be an accident. You might hurt me or my family or my pets."
The scarecrows are just one of the creative ways in which residents are highlighting the problem.
As part of Wick Gala's scarecrow competition this month, six-year-old Paige Ronaldson and her family, who live in Reiss, and Papigoe resident Denny Swanson have created their own policemen.
PC Scarecrow in Reiss – who is toting a fake radar speed gun – has already had an impact with anecdotal observations of motorists slowing down.
Other residents of the Reiss community have self-funded signage for around their properties in an attempt to highlight that children reside and play within the village.
Members of Reiss and Killimster Park Committee have raised their concerns about speeding within the village through the community council.
Road safety and speeding is an ongoing issue throughout the Sinclair’s Bay community, which includes the villages of Reiss, Killimster, Sibster, Keiss, Ackergill, Staxigoe and Papigoe.
Sinclair's Bay Community Council member Ian Ross, of Reiss, said: "We urge motorists to exercise respect and good manners to enable everyone to access our rural spaces safely. We are concerned about this and the potential for accidents.
"We are doing our part as a community to address this, but we need motorists to respond with action. We simply ask motorists to please slow down.
"We are aware that many people – motorists, farmers, dog walkers, horse riders, cyclists and families, with prams and children – use our rural roads.
"Covid-19 related restrictions on movement have increased foot traffic on many rural routes and there have been concerns raised with us by the community around motorists failing to take due and necessary care to others accessing and using the space.
"Examples include failure to reduce speed, passing those on foot at a dangerous speed and not leaving sufficient space for safe passage, as well as speeding through villages close to residential properties, all of which are concerning.
"Lots of people use these country routes, particularly at the moment, and it is important that this can be done so safely."
The community council has contacted the police and speed checks are being carried out in the area.
A questionnaire put out to residents at the start of the year by Sinclair’s Bay Development Trust revealed that road safety was a key concern, particularly in Reiss and Keiss.
The community council sourced traffic-calming measures for Keiss and hopes to secure funding to provide these for other villages.
To help build up support funding applications, residents who wish to have their views about speeding in the area recorded are being invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org