Schoolchildren have been cracking down on dangerous driving in their communities through a new scheme which involves them taking motorists to task for speeding near their schools.
The Junior Road Watch programme sees council staff and police work with small groups of pupils to educate motorists on the importance or road safety, especially near schools.
Croydon’s first road watch on Wednesday 10 July saw Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils from Winterbourne Boys’ Academy in Thornton Heath equipped with safety equipment and speed cameras set up near their school.
The pupils monitored speeds around Melfort Road, with pupils from Winterbourne Junior Girls’ School repeating the same exercise a day later.
Kaleem Warren, Year 5, 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.”
Shania Falaiye, year four 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.”
Over the two days 28 drivers were stopped for speeding and all of them chose to speak to the children instead of other enforcement activity. The average speed for both days was around 30mph. The speed limit on the road is 20mph.
“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.”
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet lead for environment and transport
If a motorist is caught driving at an excessive speed the police run checks to make sure there are no other issues with the vehicle or driver before council officers explain they either face a fine and three penalty points on their licence or talk to the pupils.
The 10 and 11-year-olds asked the drivers if they realise the consequences of speeding and other questions to highlight the danger of speeding.
Croydon Council will be talking to schools across the borough over the next academic year to see if they would like to take part in the scheme.
So far five schools have expressed an interest in the scheme. They are; Winterbourne Boys’ Academy, Winterbourne Junior Girls’ School, Oasis Academy Byron and Rockmount Primary School.