A group of year three 7- year-old school children from Edison Primary in West Hounslow have helped police seize a vehicle and bring about a prosecution of an uninsured driver.
Published: Wednesday, 25th September 2019
Another five vehicles were stopped for speeding and all of them chose to take advice from the pupils on road safety instead of facing a speeding fine.
This was Hounslow's first Junior Road Watch session and took place this week outside Edison Primary School on Vicarage Farm Road where 20 mph traffic calming around the school is especially important. The Junior Road Watch programme sees council staff and police working with small groups of students to educate motorists on the importance of road safety and the consequences of speeding.
After introductions and instructions, the kids were ready to get going. Decked in high-vis jackets with clipboards at the ready, they were efficient assistants to the police officers leading the exercise. PC Damien Lynch from the Hounslow Safer Transport Team, began by demonstrating how he stops motorists driving at an excessive speed using a high tech speed gun. The children didn’t have long to wait to witness the action as speeding cars were brought to a halt within minutes of each session. Sergeant Mehat and PC Simpson then ran checks to make sure there were no other issues with the vehicle or driver. Offenders were then provided with a choice; receive a ticket and three penalty points on their licence – or talk to the pupils.
The students bravely took drivers who exceeded the 20 mph speed limit to task, asking them questions ranging from “Were you wearing a seatbelt?” to “Could you tell me what you thought the speed limit was?” They were also asked to identify signs such as the one below.
Cllr Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport at Hounslow Council said: “This is a brilliant way to bring attention to speeding restrictions within the borough, particularly outside or near to schools where 20mph is now the usual limit. My congratulations go to the children at Edison Primary and the local police in helping this important cause. It’s a great example of paving the way for children becoming more responsible for their actions and helping them become more responsible when they learn to drive. I understand all the speeding motorists – bar the one facing prosecution - were very apologetic to the 7-year-olds, promising to take better care on the road and be mindful of the growing number of 20 mph zones in Hounslow and London as a whole.”
Hounslow 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, a number of schools have expressed an interest, with sessions already in the pipeline for Westbrook Primary, Isleworth Town and Chiswick School.
The first Junior Road Watch proved to be a success and we look forward to working with the police officers and other schools to expand the project further.