TWO North Yorkshire communities have won praise for their commitment to road safety in their area.

County councillor Paul Richardson presented a plaque to Ian Johnson, chairman of the parish council of Fearby and Healey, near Masham.

The presentation marked the villages' support of the Make the Commitment - Kill Your Speed campaign.

The campaign began in November 2001, when the county council's Harrogate area committee agreed to reduce the existing speed limit in Fearby and Healey from 40mph to 30mph.

The decision was made on the condition that the residents of the villages pledged their support to the scheme, and the council's road safety team wrote letters to all residents asking them to sign up to the scheme.

On receipt of signed pledges, residents were issued with Make the Commitment tax disc holders and rear window stickers to promote the scheme.

Councillor Peter Sowray, the county council's executive member with responsibility for the environment, said: "The scheme has the full backing of the parish council, Kell Bank School and the local police force, and has received a terrific response from local people who have upheld their agreement to drive within the new speed limit at all times.

"We are delighted by their success and feel that it should be recognised as a good example to take forward to other areas of the county."