Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Your Interview: Superintendent Natalie Maloney
11:30am Saturday 2nd March 2013 in News
In weekly feature your Interview, we give you, our readers, the chance to ask key figures the questions you want answered. This week, SUPERINTENDENT NATALIE MALONEY, head of the Road Policing Unit in Sussex, answers your questions
Mary Mason, Hove: When a speed is reduced on a main road, why is it not possible to paint the new speed on the road surface?
Natalie Maloney (NM): This is a local authority issue, not a policing matter. However, we work closely with the local authority.
Yourallnuts, from web: Are you going to even try policing the new 20mph zone when it comes into force?
NM: Sussex Police is able to enforce any legally established speed limit. However, the Force would not routinely expect to enforce 20 mph limits as there is the expectation that there would be sufficient traffic calming measures in place to ensure that average speeds are kept low.
Yourallnuts, from web: Do police cars not on an emergency call have to adhere to speed limits?
NM: Yes, all police cars not on an emergency call have to stick to a speed limit.
Argus reader, from web: Being a regular user of the A23 and the M23 it is very unusual to see any police cars marked or unmarked checking the speed.
The norm on the M23 is 90 and on the upper parts of the A23 well in excess of 80.
What are your views on the hard shoulder on motorways being done away with and used as a normal stretch of road?
NM: This is called an ‘all-lane managed motorway’.
There is no consideration at this time for the M23 to become one.
Where that is introduced it is vital the Highways Agency has signage and systems in place to manage the traffic so that emergency vehicles can get through safely.
Jane Purcell: I wondered what more could be done on rural roads to try and reduce the injury/death toll, particularly amongst young drivers.
I realise that very often the cause is inexperience but are there any other things that could be put in place? So often I see articles about young people killed or injured and it really is heartbreaking to think so many of these accidents are completely preventable.
NM: I absolutely agree. It starts with family values and how we give support to our children and encourage them to drive safely and responsibly and it moves through to peers and friends acting safely and encouraging safe driving.
There are opportunities in Sussex for Community Speed Watch and ultimately if you know somebody who does not drive safely let us know and we will talk to them and try and prevent a tragedy.
Keith Mason: Learner drivers under professional instruction in many of the residential areas such as Hangleton, Hove, often cause considerable traffic holdups by practising, turning, parking and moving around corners and across road junctions.
This often happens at a time when residents and delivery traffic are wishing to move freely.
I appreciate that learners have to practice somewhere but are there any regulations, local or national, requiring instructors to constantly be aware of prevailing traffic conditions and assist their pupils accordingly by, for example, taking control of the vehicle when it is obviously causing a hold up, particularly at busy junctions?
If there are such regulations, how are they enforced?
NM: I hope most driving instructors are responsible enough to give students experience but always with a view not to disrupt others.
People can let us know if this is not the case.
Justin, from web: Say one of your team came to you and said: “If I concentrate on nicking drivers I consider to be driving carelessly or dangerously I will stop about five per shift.
“If I stop everyone I see doing 85mph in light traffic on the A27 I will issue many more penalties but most of these drivers are not endangering anyone.
“Should I concentrate on the really bad drivers or just get as many as possible?”. What would your advice to them be?
NM: I expect officers to concentrate on those who are causing the most harm. Drivers who are speeding are offered speed awareness courses through the camera partnership team.
At the end of the day we have all seen the adverts and it is true – if you hit a child while driving at more than 36mph that child is more likely to die.
I wouldn’t want anyone to have that on their conscience.
Robert Heale: Do you think that Brighton and Hove Council’s proposals for Seven Dials (including removing the lighted crossings, taking away the railings and narrowing the roads) will affect safety, traffic congestion and the movement of essential vehicles?
NM: I have no doubt the council will have considered safety as a key part of their considerations and are also consulting with us.
Bryan Oram: Will cyclists be stopped from doing more than 20mph?
NM: I would expect cyclists to be cycling safely and considerately.
Jonno Jones: Why can the police park their vehicles on double yellow lines or in bus stops all day without a ticket?
NM: They shouldn’t unless it is an emergency. Ultimately I would not expect to see them parked on double yellows for an extended period of time.
Jonno Jones: Cyclists – when are you going to crack down on the illegal practices such as going the wrong way down one way streets, no lights and so on?
NM: I would expect this to be dealt with already.
Cornhill, from web: The A27 has to be one of the most dangerous roads in East Sussex.
There are accidents on it on almost a daily basis.
There’s been another one by Middle Farm.
The road has been closed and many folk have been inconvenienced on their way home from work. Hopefully no one has been badly injured or worse.
Do any of the drivers who cause these accidents ever get charged with anything as we hardly ever seem to read anything about them after the accidents, compared to how many accidents there seem to be.
NM: Whenever there is an accident we will look to see if there is someone blameworthy and we will gather evidence.
If there is someone we think is blameworthy we will present the evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Hyram77, from web: In your opinion is the Sussex Road Policing Unit able to continue being pro-active in policing the roads or simply re-active in light of recent cuts and general poor morale amongst officers?
NM: Pro-active. There are plain cars on the roads and they are effective in dealing with drivers who drive dangerously or without insurance.
But we also help our neighbourhood officers in other situations.
Rottingdean Rant, from web: Why does there seem to be no effort to prosecute people who use mobile phones while they drive?
I see offenders every day – both the ‘white van drivers’ and mums with children in the car. I would have thought it possible to place a couple of PCs along a road like the B2123 into Rottingdean to start dealing with this dangerous habit.
NM: Please do report anybody you see driving while on a phone as we will always deal with it where we can.
Crystal Ball, from web: What is your opinion of the Police Commissioner posting?
NM: I’m delighted she has roads policing in her manifesto and am looking forward to working with her.
Put your questions to Mike Pattinson from drug charity CRI
Email your questions to email@example.com or call Bill on 01273 544531.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Free health check offered for Crawley residents
- Ex-Albion player due in court on anti-gay charges
- Author Peter James 'lucky to be alive' following 70mph racing crash
- Hove murder: wanted man phones The Argus
- Shoreham Rugby Club holding charity barbecue and fun day