‘Why drive when you have feet?’ - Norwich pupils’ messages for problem parkers outside their school

Children from Angel Road Junior School with their winning road safety posters, and governor Julie Brociek-Coulton. Ellie-Mae Carver, 8, front left, and Molly Payne, 11, front right, received a special mention for their work. Picture: Denise Bradley Children from Angel Road Junior School with their winning road safety posters, and governor Julie Brociek-Coulton. Ellie-Mae Carver, 8, front left, and Molly Payne, 11, front right, received a special mention for their work. Picture: Denise Bradley

Sunday, May 4, 2014
12:35 PM

When it comes to problem parkers, the pupils at Angel Road Junior School take no prisoners.

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Angel Road Junior School children who received a special mention for their road safety posters in the school's competition, Ellie-Mae Carver, 8, right, and Molly Payne, 11. Picture: Denise BradleyAngel Road Junior School children who received a special mention for their road safety posters in the school's competition, Ellie-Mae Carver, 8, right, and Molly Payne, 11. Picture: Denise Bradley

“Only a fool parks outside the school” is their no-nonsense message to those who put youngsters’ lives at risk by parking where they shouldn’t during the school run.

Pupils at the school were asked to design posters to teach parents about road safety, with others bearing the slogans: “Park with care - children everywhere” and “Why drive when you have feet? Walk!”

Deputy head Alison Whalen said the school had appealed to the pupils for ideas after a spate of close scrapes outside the school, including one involving Ellie-Mae Carver’s mum.

Ellie-Mae was singled out for praise after designing a poster saying: “My mummy was hit by a car outside our school. She was hurt: next time it could be me.”

Mrs Whalen said: “There have been a couple of really close near-misses, particularly in the car park with children and their bikes, and a parent did get slightly hit. They had a young child with them, so it could have been a lot worse really.

“We’ve been lucky that nothing’s happened so far.”

Another pupil singled out for praise was 11-year-old Molly Payne, who designed a leaflet with statistics on road accidents.

She said: “Twenty per cent of accidents happen when people are parking outside schools, and when children are walking to school.”

Mrs Whalen said the quality of entries had been so high that teachers had had to buy extra Easter egg prizes, and the winners were announced by school governor Julie Brociek-Coulton at assembly yesterday.

“They’ve come up with slogans that I would never have thought of, so the standard has been incredibly high,” she added.

The winning entries will be laminated and displayed at the school gates, in an effort to get parents to take notice of a perennial problem.

Mrs Whalen said: “The children are brilliant because they have the nag power - they are the ones who will say ‘No, let’s park the car a few streets away and walk’. They’ve got a powerful influence at home and they are the ones that will enforce the message.”

That message was echoed by Iain Temperton, team leader of Norfolk County Council’s casualty reduction team, which works with schools in the county.

“We don’t get children killed or injured outside schools – that’s a misconception – but what we do have is a lot of clutter outside schools,” he said.

“In some places we have crossing patrols, and if parents are parking on the zig-zags, they aren’t making anyone’s life any easier.”

Is parking a problem at your school? Email mark.shields@archant.co.uk

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