Pupils take to streets to put brakes on drivers

Children from St Paul's Primary School in Warton are urging drivers not to speed past their school.  Pictured are Milly Goodfellow, Jack Brett and Destiny Austin.

Children from St Paul's Primary School in Warton are urging drivers not to speed past their school. Pictured are Milly Goodfellow, Jack Brett and Destiny Austin.

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Pupils showed their disapproval to motorists by holding up sad faces if they speed past their school.

Youngsters from St Paul’s Primary School, Warton, took part in a Schools’ Road Watch project with their local neighbourhood police team and staff from Lancashire County Council.

The pupils assisted officers with speed checks on roads near to their school and motorists who are found to be speeding were asked to speak with the youngsters.

Any driving inappropriately were shown signs with sad faces on by the pupils; those driving safely were shown smiley faces.

The children also explained some of the serious consequences that the motorists’ driving behaviour could have.

The initiative supported Lancashire County Council’s ongoing work to introduce 20mph speed limits in all main residential areas and outside schools. This comes as a response to studies which show that rates of death and injury are less for pedestrians hit by a vehicle at 20mph rather than 30mph.

PC Robin Hardiman, community beat manager for Warton, said: “We know that seeing the sad faces on electronic signs by the side of the road do cause drivers to alter their behaviour and slow down. We hope by combining this with speaking to young people, who could be killed or seriously injured by a speeding driver, motorists will reflect even further on their actions.

“The children are also interested to hear the excuses drivers use for speeding – they do not think it is good enough that their lives are being put at risk because someone is a few minutes late for work.”

County Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, added: “We know it will take time to change attitudes about the benefits of driving more slowly and I’m very grateful to the school and the police for helping to convince drivers about the good reasons for sticking to 20mph.”

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