“How would you feel telling my parents that you had killed me or injured me?”
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“How would you feel telling my parents that you had killed me or injured me?”: just one of the questions asked of speeding motorists by Year Five pupils as part of School Speedwatch.
Last week, pupils at a Basildon primary school took part in national Road Safety Week when they joined forces with the Safer Essex Roads Partnership to tackle speeding motorists outside their school in London Road on Thursday 23 November.
The week-long campaign (19-25 Nov) aimed to get the public talking about the dangerous issue of speeding on our roads and ran alongside Operation Drive Insured, to raise awareness of the risks of driving without insurance.
During School Speedwatch, where pupils monitor traffic movements in the vicinity of their school, Year Five pupils, with the help of a Roads Policing officer, soon made a significant stop when they halted a speeding, uninsured driver who had only been driving for 18 months!
In total the pupils, all aged between 9 and 10 years old, stopped nine speeding cars, with a top speed of 43mph outside their school.
All drivers agreed to take part in a Q&A session, where the pupils asked them if they were aware of the dangers of speeding and the consequences of speeding, highlighting their concerns for the safety of pupils and teachers in the London Road area.
Claire Stone, Road Safety Technician from the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, who organised the road safety event, said:
As part of the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, our absolute priority is road safety - we’re here to educate the drivers that speeding kills.
When questioned by the pupils, most adults responded that they weren’t aware they had been speeding.
Speeds can creep up if you’re not paying attention, so we’re asking drivers to pay particular attention to their speeds, especially in the vicinity of schools where children are walking.
A number of people spoke of their concerns to our partners Basildon’s Enforcement Officers, adding that School Speedwatch was a welcome addition to keep everyone safe.
During the morning, they spoke to a small number of drivers who had committed offences and to prevent parking on zig-zag and yellow lines and deter pavement parking, blocking pedestrian access to the school, putting pedestrians at risk of serious harm.
It’s imperative that drivers drive with extra care in the vicinity of any school to reduce the risk of harm, or worse, to other road users.
Speeding is one of the offences known as the Fatal Four – offences that contribute to collisions. They include speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, driving distracted by mobile phone usage and drink or drug driving.
At the conclusion of each stop, all drivers agreed to sign the Vision Zero Pledge, witnessed by the Year Five pupils, to show their commitment to safer driving in the future.
Vision Zero is our ambition to have no roads deaths by 2040 or sooner and the Vision Zero Pledge reminds drivers to be careful and considerate drivers, and to drive within the posted speed limit or more slowly, to allow for unforeseen risks, in the future.