Wellingborough road safety heroes keeping pals safe on school run

The pupils have been patrolling the roads outside their school highlighting dangerous driving

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 3:30 pm

Pupils at a Wellingborough primary school have taken to the streets to patrol parents' illegal parking and issue tickets to reduce risky behaviour.

A team of 'Road Safety Heroes' appointed by Redwell Primary School has volunteered to keep an eye on school-run motorists who are insist on dropping off their children inappropriately.

Using a scheme developed by the Highways Safety Team at Northamptonshire Highways, the Redwell Road Safety Heroes have been raising road safety awareness and promoting road safety issues helped by staff member and patrol leader Victoria Brennan.

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Members of Redwell Primary School's Road Safety Heroes team

Mrs Brennan, who has been accompanying the team of Year 5 pupils for the past month, said: "It's definitely made a difference. We've seen seen fewer people parking on corners, on dropped kerbs and dropping off pupils on zig-zags.

"The pupils really enjoy it and they've been fantastic. Before the patrols our site supervisor would occasionally go out and speak to parents but he was met with some consternation.

"Having the children with me on patrols has helped."

A team of six 'heroes' were recruited from Years 4 and 5 after they submitted an application stating why they wanted to be part of the scheme.

The group make high-visibility patrols in the streets near to the school

The successful candidates were given high-vis jackets, backpacks, badges, notebooks and pens to use on their daily patrols when they note down times and types of misdemeanors.

Northamptonshire Highways Safety Team, Keith Millard lead an assembly about the importance of driving and parking considerately and crossing safely.

He said: "If one child becomes a long-term champion for road safety then the scheme is worthwhile.

"It's good. What could be more powerful than a young child asking 'why you are parking like that?'"

A pupil is dropped off on the zig-zags

More than 50 schools across the county have signed up to encourage parents and pupils to safe safe.

Year 5 pupils Harry, Sienna, Summer and Evie have been going out on regular patrols in Barnwell Road and Churchill Avenue which backs on to the school.

Summer, 10, said: "We look for inappropriate parking and dropping off. Some people just park in the middle of the road and drop off or just outside the school gates.

"Some people don't wear seats belts and don't have child car seats either.

Road Safety Heroes

"They haven't shouted at us yet but they have shouted at Mrs Brennan."

Patrol Hero Evie said: "Because we are children it's harder for them to argue back."

Fellow patrol member Harry, 9, said: " I would say to parents to make sure that your children are always safe and don't make them walk in the road - they could get run over."

Sienna added: "Don't be scared of us. We're here to keep our school friends safe and to help the drivers."

School business manager Mrs Brennan has also successfully campaigned to reduce the speed limit on Barnwell Road immediately outside the school.

In the spring, Northamptonshire Highways will instate a 20 miles an hour speed limit to be in force at the start and the end of the school day with new warning signs to inform motorists.

She added: " I lobbied Highways for a 20 miles an hour zone. We had a former pupil knocked off their bike outside and there have been various near-misses.

"For us it's about safeguarding and keeping our pupils safe."