Pathhead pupils drive home road safety message

PC Gavin Kaye shows Carol-Anne Kirton (10), how to work the camera, watched by the junior road safety officers. Pic: Andrew Beveridge
PC Gavin Kaye shows Carol-Anne Kirton (10), how to work the camera, watched by the junior road safety officers. Pic: Andrew Beveridge

Youngsters from Pathhead Primary in Kirkcaldy are hoping to lead the way in road safety with a groundbreaking new project.

Pupils from the school have mounted their own road safety campaign and last week they took to the busy main road outside their school with placards urging motorists to take care and slow their speed outside schools.

The Pathhead pupils with their placards outside the school

The Pathhead pupils with their placards outside the school

The project, called ‘Community Speedwatch’ is being run in conjunction with Police Scotland community officers and the Fife Commuity Safety Partnership in Kirkcaldy.

Eight P6 pupils from the school were taught how to work the hand-held speed camera and had turns of measuring the speed of vehicles on the street as they passed during the busy period at the end of the school day.

Any driver clocked doing over the limit will be sent a letter written by the pupils themselves which expresses their “disappointment” and gives some facts and figures about road accidents.

All Kirkcaldy primary schools have been offered support by the Safety Partnership to set up Junior Road Safety Officers within their schools, with Pathhead being the first to take up the offer.

The JRSO project, part of a national scheme by Road Safety Scotland, is designed to support pupils’ knowledge of road safety education, and the Community Speedwatch initiative to encourage drivers to slow down and drive responsibly and in particular in areas where children will be walking and playing.

Teacher Emma Clunie who is running the project with the police said: “The aim is to reduce the speed of cars as they pass the school and improve general road safety of the pupils.

“The pupils have really enjoyed learning about road safety and particularly having a shot of the speed camera.”

Sergeant Jimmy Adamson, head of community policing in Kirkcaldy, said: “Speeding outside schools is unacceptable, and the school pupils themselves are in a great position to help educate their friends, parents and wider community on good driving behaviour.

“Our community police officers were joined by junior road safety officers when using speed radar guns, and the pupils helped note licence numbers so the school can contact those who have been speeding.

“If this is a success it will be rolled out to other schools.”

Jordan Ballantyne (11), said: “It is a good idea because it makes drivers notice that they have to go at 20 m.p.h. and a lot of them go a lot faster than that.

“We have seen a few cars and a motor bike driving faster than the limit today.”

Lauren Walker (10), added: “It has been good to watch the cars slowing down when they see us. This is a really busy road and we hope that drivers will not go over the 20 miles an hour limit to help keep us safe.”