Ribble Valley residents down in the mouth about ‘smiley’ speed checker theft (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Ribble Valley residents down in the mouth about ‘smiley’ speed checker theft
1:30pm Thursday 21st June 2012 in Ribble Valley news
A SPEED checker that smiles at motorists who stick to the limit has been stolen from a busy main road.
The speed iIndicator device (SID) – also known as a smiley face – disappeared from Kiln Lane, Sawley.
Members of Bolton-by-Bowland, Gisburn Forest And Sawley Parish Council said they were ‘gutted’ when they found the £2,500 device was missing.
It had been used by the parish council to ensure vehicles did not exceed 30mph and at Tosside when festivals take place.
Parish clerk Bruce Dowles said: “It was a calculated and deliberate act. It required not just a ladder but some pretty tough equipment to detach the SID with its backing plate from the pole. If it was for scrap then all such SIDs are in danger of disappearing.
“If it was for any other reason then I am stuffed as to figure out what. It is indeed a very sorry time for local councils doing their bit for their communities.”
A police spokeswoman said: “It is an expensive and valued device that is needed and is used elsewhere.
“The device was on a busy main road on the way into a village.
“Witnesses may have thought the device was legitimately being moved as it was used around the village.
“The SID would have been requested by residents with the aim of reminding motorists of speeds on the road.”
Mr Dowles said: “I am gutted that something like this has been stolen. The cost is not the point as it contributes to the well-being and safety of residents and visitors alike.
"The county council has just bought 20 of them so potentially it is as much an issue for them as it is us. Where we go from here is for the parish council to decide at its next meeting on July 2.”
Paul Binks, the county council’s road safety managerl, said: “We use these to help reinforce the speed limit where concerns about speeding are raised.”
He added the county was contacting the parish to discuss a possible loan of equipment and would write to other owners of these signs about the theft.
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