Winterbourne schoolchildren crack down on speeding drivers

Schoolchildren are cracking down on speeding drivers.

A new junior watch programme gets students involved with stopping dangerous driving near schools.

Students work with council staff and police to educate motorists of road safety.

Croydon had their first road watch on July 10 where Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils at Winterbourne Boys’ Academy in Thornton Heath arrived with safety equipment and speed cameras.

Pupils monitored motorists’ speeds around Melfort Road.

The 10 and 11 year olds asked drivers if they knew the consequences of speeding and asked other questions to show them how dangerous speeding was to their lives.

Year 5 pupil Kaleem Warren from Winterbourne Boys’ Academy said: “We’re here to tell people about road safety and to help to keep local school children safe. If you speed you could knock someone over or crash and then you’re putting two people in danger.”

Winterbourne Junior Girls’ School repeated the same exercise the next day.

Year 4 student Shania Falaiye from Winterbourne Junior Girls’ School said: “We are here to ask questions to the drivers like why they are speeding near our school. If you speed you could kill someone. If a pedestrian is hit by a car at 20 miles per hour they are about five times more likely to survive than if they’re hit at 30 miles per hour.”

28 drivers were stopped for speeding over the two days and all of them chose to speak to the children instead of the professionals on hand.

The average speed across both days was around 30mph in the 20mph school zone.

Cabinet lead for environment and transport Councillor Stuart King said: “The Junior Road Watch scheme can have real benefits, discouraging motorists from speeding while teaching them and the children important lessons about road safety.

“Working with school children and the police we’re able to make a real difference by explaining the human impact speeding can have on communities.”

Police ran checks to make sure there were no issues with the vehicle or driver before council officers explained the consequences of speeding.
Drivers were given the chance to speak to the pupils instead of facing a fine and three penalty points on their licence.

Oasis Academy Byron, Winterbourne Boys’ Academy, Winterbourne Junior Girls’ School and Rockmount Primary School have already expressed interest in the new scheme.

Croydon council will be talking to more schools across the borough to get more people involved with the scheme.

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