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Frizinghall pupils create banner to promote road safety
Children are pleading with drivers to take more care outside Bradford’s primary schools.
Youngsters are speaking to drivers, writing letters to local families and putting up posters in a bid to cut down the number of parents parking illegally by school gates.
It forms part of an ongoing drive by the police and local schools to crack down on dangerous conditions at peak hours.
People who park illegally outside schools do not just risk a stern word from a child, they can now also face fines or having penalty points added to their licence.
The latest place to enlist schoolchildren in a crackdown was Frizinghall Primary School, in Salisbury Road, Bradford.
PCSO Cath Elder visited the school to speak to the children and run two competitions, one for pupils to write a heartfelt letter to all parents explaining why they needed to take care outside schools, and the other to design a series of posters highlighting road safety issues.
She said: “It’s a nightmare, and it’s the same at a lot of schools.
“We never expected people to have this many cars when the schools were originally built.”
PCSO Elder said a team of police officers then revisited the school, and took members of the school council out to speak to drivers directly.
She said: “They were very good. There were not many people, to be fair, who were going to do anything when we were all there, but the children were pulling on their heart strings.
“We did a month of giving warnings to people, then we did a letter out to all the families from the school.”
But she said anyone ignoring the parking rules now risked fines.
“If it’s a parking warden you can be fined, but if it’s a traffic officer it’s three points,” she said.
Head teacher Pauline Chilvers said: “Of course, it’s only a minority of people that disregard the warnings and the information that’s put out, but it only takes one child to be knocked down for there to be a tragedy.”
Deputy head teacher Lisa Wetherall, who helped organise the crackdown, said: “When the children write the letters, parents do listen.
“It’s not just the teachers nagging again, it’s coming from the children.
“Also, for the children taking part, in the future, when they are parents themselves, hopefully they will automatically know how to behave.”