TEN drivers were stopped by police for speeding on the Minchinhampton common on Friday night.
Police carried out the speed checks between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
Five vehicles were stopped on the stretch of road between Box and Minchinhampton by the Old Lodge, with speeds of 45mph, 50mph, 50mph, 47mph and 43mph.
The other five were caught along Cirencester Road, with recorded speeds of 50mph, 43mph, 46mph, 44mph and 49mph.
The speed limit across the common is 40mph.
A drug search and a drug test was also carried out, with the test being negative.
The police invited members of the public to attend as speeding along the common has been a long-standing issue.
Speeders received an educational talk and and an informative leaflet.
Gloucestershire police officer Steve Lindsay believes the checks will have a positive impact on the community.
“It’s been quite productive, because I think everybody’s been monitoring their speed,” he said.
“This is a community concern. A lot of people have expressed their anger towards the speeding, with cows being injured, and the way people are driving at times.
“It’s also nice to get the public out as well because if you’ve got members of the public doing it with you and supporting the police then that makes a real difference I think, I really do.
“I think being out here tonight has a big impact, and these drivers could be going through another part of Gloucestershire tomorrow, but because we’ve spoken to them and because we’ve been out here being visible, hopefully that will be in their minds and they’ll continue to be careful.”
Chairman of Minchinhampton Common, Sue King, also attended the checks, and she believes the police presence has been vital.
“I had 170 cows out here last summer,” she said. “Thankfully we haven’t lost any this time, but there is still a few weeks left of the grazing season. But the light up sign has done quite a lot of good as has the police sign that is currently along Cirencester road.
“Now the police are coming along – I wouldn’t say we’ve cracked it by any means – but it’s certainly better this year than it has been in previous years.”
Jane Pritchard’s donkey was hit by a car on the common last year and fortunately survived. She also believes the checks can be vital in highlighting the issues to drivers.
“I’ve driven up here when there’s been cattle on the side of the road, and I’ve slowed it down to 30mph, and I’ve then had people overtaking me and beeping their horns.
“It’s unpredictable. We’ve got fourteen cattle out here and they’re mine and I know them, but you still don’t know whether they’re going to step out or not.”
Philippa Schwartz, a parish councillor for Minchinhampton, also attended the event and believes it’s up to drivers to moderate their speed.
“One thing that makes people stop and think and hopefully drive with more care is when I tell them that with dipped headlights in the dark, their highest speed should be 25mph if they wish to avoid hitting a cow, should one step out in front of them.
“The 40mph limit is the best we can do with current highway guidelines in force but that does not mean that it is a safe speed to travel at, especially at night.
“A steady 30mph speed after dark is recommended with slowing to 25mph when headlights are dipped. Drivers have to be vigilant constantly, cows do not understand flashed headlights or sounding a horn; they do not understand the danger represented by the road and the cars on it.
“It is up to us to drive with much more caution.
“The cattle do an incredible job up here and without the cattle we would not have a common. It is vital that we all respect their place and remember that this is their domain.”
The police will be continuing their winter checks over the next few weeks.
The cows will be taken in at night at the end of October.