‘Please be safe’ – pupils’ appeal to drivers who put their lives at risk

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A SCHOOL has launched a safety campaign against irresponsible motorists who they say are putting pupils at risk.

Staff at New Silksworth Infant School, in Blind Lane, said the problem with traffic is getting out of control and children walking to classes are taking their lives in their hands.

Pupils staff and parents at New Silksworth Infants School, Blind Lane. Silksworth, handing out road safety leaflets outside the school.

Pupils staff and parents at New Silksworth Infants School, Blind Lane. Silksworth, handing out road safety leaflets outside the school.

Teachers, parents, and pupils were this week joined by councillors, local business owners, police and road safety experts in a bid to persuade drivers to not only slow down, but find other places to park.

Members of the local business community have paid to have high visibility jackets made for the children, who wore them to hand out leaflets to drivers highlighting road safety concerns outside their school.

Gillian McBriarty, headteacher at the school, said the problem has been going on for years, but there now seems more traffic than ever.

She said: “We have had campaigns like this a few times, but we just have to keep trying.

“It is 20mph zone, but people fly round at a rate of knots. There are people who live in the lane, so obviously need access and to park, and there are cars parked right up both sides.

“It is a huge risk to our children who are very young. We also have a lot of autistic children who have no road sense at all.”

Business manager at the school, Barry Huitson, added: “Sometimes it is like a Mexican stand off because cars are stuck and no-one wants to reverse.”

He said together the infant school and the next door New Silksworth Junior School have somewhere in the region of 600 children between them, which create a huge volume of traffic, both cars and pedestrians.

Members of the Silksworth Infant Parent Group say people just ignore the yellow road markings outside the school and are keen to persuade parents to walk to school, or if they have to come by car to park away from the school and walk the rest of the way.

Rachael Gleghorn, 30, who has five-year-old twin daughters, Laila and Madeline, at the school, said: “Walking to school is just horrible. It is carnage on a morning with all the cars.” Andrew Murray, 42, who has a five-year-old daughter, Lucy, at the infant school and a seven-year-old son, Sam, at the junior, said: “We can’t just wait for a child to be knocked down before we do something.”