With the schools starting back after the summer holidays the focus of Community Ward officers for the last couple of weeks has been driver behaviour.
Yellow zig-zag markings outside schools indicate the length of road where drivers should not stop – not even to pick up or drop off children – and they are there to ensure that children can see and be seen when crossing the road.
Officers frequently carry out Parksafe deployments around school routes and this year to help emphasise the issue we’re using pop up bairns to prevent unsafe or inconsiderate parking.
Building on the success of ‘Pop-Up Bob’ – the replica police officer with a speed gun – ‘Pop-Up Bairns’ are the latest recruits to help keep children safe on the road near schools.
The Bairns are dressed in high-vis uniforms and each is holding a school crossing lollipop with the key safety messages of ‘Watch your speed’, ‘Think before you park’ and ‘Don’t park on the zig zags’.
We hope the mini recruits will promote discussion and encourage responsible driver behaviour where it is most needed.
Focusing our attention on older pupils, following a successful event at Viewforth High, we are looking to hold further sessions this term at other secondary schools demonstrating the consequences for new drivers, their passengers and other road users if they drive inappropriately.
Senior pupils are shown a film made by Police Scotland showing the devastation caused by a real road traffic collision in Ayrshire which resulted in two deaths.
While young drivers tend to have very good vehicle control skills, they are not so good at identifying potential hazards and assessing the risk, resulting in an accident. They also tend to over-estimate their ability, and stats show that when young drivers are driving with friends as passengers they are more likely to have an accident.
Road Safety Scotland states that young drivers account for ten per cent of all licence holders, yet are involved in 20 per cent of accidents.
Sadly, those accidents lead to an average of one death and more than 70 people injured every week so it’s vitally important that we make efforts to change this.
After the input at Viewforth High School, we delivered the same presentation along with colleagues from Road Policing, from our community access vehicle at Fife Retail Park on one evening to young drivers and passengers visiting the fast food restaurants.
Planning is in the early stages but we’re hoping to hold similar sessions in the coming months so if you have a young driver in the family please keep an eye on our Twitter page @Kirkcaldypolice for the dates.
Anyone who would like more information about the Young Driver Initiative or has concerns about driver behaviour at your child’s school please do not hesitate to contact your local Community Wards Policing Team by telephoning 101.
You can also contact us direct via the Community Policing team mailbox for your ward: